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Q&A: What You Need to Know to Vote

With U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IOWA)

Senator Grassley (R-Iowa)

Q: What’s your message to Iowans as Election Day approaches?

A: On Nov. 8, voters across the country will cast ballots in the midterm elections for federal, state and local offices. Here in Iowa, voters will determine representatives in newly redrawn districts for four congressional districts, 100 House districts and 34 of 50 Iowa Senate districts. For the first time in a decade, many Iowans will be voting in a new legislative or congressional district. The right to vote is a freedom not to be taken for granted. It is the essence of representative government. Elected officeholders represent the views and concerns of their constituents and communities at the policymaking table. Voting is the best way to ensure your views are represented so the government works for the people, not the other way around. In our system of self-government, Americans determine the approach to solve problems by choosing representatives at the ballot box. Choose who you want to govern, or be governed. I encourage Iowans to exercise your right to vote.

Q: What do Iowans need to know to vote in the midterm elections?

A: With just a few weeks left until Election Day, I encourage Iowans to have a plan and make sure you’re registered to vote at https://sos.iowa.gov/. To be eligible to vote, you must be a U.S. citizen; an Iowa resident; turn 18 on or before Election Day; and not claim the right to vote elsewhere. Note Iowa also has same-day voter registration if voters can prove eligibility.

Here’s what you need to know to vote in the 2022 midterm elections. Absentee ballot request forms can be sent in now and starting Wednesday, Oct. 19, Iowans may choose to vote early by absentee ballot. Be sure and put your voter verification number on your request form, either your driver’s license number or 4 digit number on your voter ID card. Early voting is available within a 20-day window, both in-person and by mail. The last day to request an absentee ballot to be mailed to your address is Monday, Oct. 24, by 5 p.m. Absentee ballots may be returned via postal mail or in person to your county auditor. Iowans may track the status of their absentee ballot on the Iowa Secretary of State’s website at https://sos.iowa.gov/elections/AbsenteeBallotStatus.

On Nov. 5, the Saturday prior to Election Day, all county auditors’ offices will be open for early voting. If voting by mail, Iowans need to take care absentee ballots are received in your county auditor’s office before 8 p.m. on Election Day, with exceptions for military, overseas voters and domestic abuse survivors. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. central time on Election Day.

When voting in person, Iowans are required to provide one form of identification. That may include an Iowa Driver’s License, Iowa non-operator ID, U.S. Passport, U.S. Military or Veteran ID, Iowa Voter Identification card, or Tribal ID card. Voters may contact their local county auditor to request a Voter ID card, or register to vote online with an Iowa Driver’s License. Do not listen to naysayers who talk down our election system. In Iowa, it is easy to vote, but hard to cheat so I encourage Iowans to vote however is easiest for them.