Polls open for primary voters at 7 a.m. on Tuesday. Anyone planning to vote later in the day needs to be aware that voting ends at 8 p.m., not 9 p.m. as had been traditional for decades in Iowa. The earlier poll closing time was one of several new restrictions on voting Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law last year.
The new restrictions also change the rules regarding absentee ballots. Previously, as long as an absentee ballot was postmarked by Election Day, and received by the county auditor’s office by the Monday following the election, it could be counted. Starting with this election, only absentee ballots received in the auditor’s office before 8 p.m. on Election Day can be counted. So, if you are still in possession of an absentee ballot, do not mail it.
Absentee ballots can be deposited in the auditor’s designated dropboxes, and will be counted as long as they have been deposited by the time polls close. The dropbox for Johnson County voters is located on the south side of the Johnson County Administration Building at 913 S Dubuque St in Iowa City. In Linn County, there is a dropbox at 823 3rd St SW, Cedar Rapids, near the Jean Oxley Linn County Public Service Center.
Please do not mail your ballot today if you are still one of the roughly 1,000 Polk voters that still have one.
The law has changed and requires the ballot physically in the Election Office by 8 PM tomorrow. Postmarks do not count.
Use the 24 hour drop box at Election Office
— Jamie Fitzgerald (@Polkauditorfitz) June 6, 2022
The new restrictions Reynolds signed also limit who can drop off an absentee ballot. Besides the voter who filled out the ballot, only a member of that person’s immediate family, a member of their household or an authorized election official can deliver the sealed ballot envelope to a dropbox.
A voter with an absentee ballot can also bring it to their normal polling place and hand it in to election officials, before casting a vote like other Election Day voters.
How to find your polling place
Anyone unsure of where they need to go to vote on Tuesday, can find their polling place through their auditor’s site. Both the Johnson County Auditor’s Office and the Linn County Auditor’s Office have online look-up tools that will provide the proper polling location for any voter.
In 2017, Gov. Terry Branstad signed a law requiring Iowa voters to produce ID in order to be able to exercise their right to vote. The Iowa Secretary of State’s Office lists the following types of ID as acceptable.
• Iowa Voter Identification Card
• Iowa Driver’s License
• Iowa Non-Operator ID
• U.S. Military ID or Veteran ID
• U.S. Passport
• Tribal ID Card/Document
If you have moved since the last time you voted, and your ID does not have your current address, you will need to provide proof of your current residence. According to the Secretary of State, the following forms of proof of residence are acceptable.
• Residential lease
• Utility bill, including a cell phone bill
• Bank statement
• Government check
• Other government document
• Property tax statement
Same-day voter registration is still available in Iowa. Anyone needing to register to vote on Tuesday can do so using the types of ID listed above.
Party members only
Because this is a primary for offices elected on a partisan basis, only Democrats and Republicans can vote, and they can only vote for the candidates of their own party. People registered as No Party can use the same-day registration to re-register as Democrats or Republicans to vote on Tuesday. Likewise, registered Democrats or Republicans can change their membership to the other party, if they are more interested in voting for the other party’s primary candidates.
Voters who change their registration for the primary can switch back to their original affiliation, or lack thereof, starting Wednesday.
Assistance for voters with disabilities
Each precinct should have two officials — a Democrat and a Republican — designated to assist voters with special needs. If the voter prefers to have someone other than the designated officials assist, that person will have to sign an Affidavit of Voter Requesting Assistance, according to the Secretary of State.
Curbside voting is also available for those unable to easily exit their vehicles. Once alerted to a voter requesting the curbside option, the two appointed precinct officials will bring a ballot to the voter.
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Anyone with questions regarding where or how to vote can get answers by calling their auditor’s office. In Johnson County, the phone number for the auditor’s office is 319-356-6004. The Linn County Auditor’s Office can be reached at 319-892-5300.