How to Register to Vote in Iowa?
The right to vote is one of the most important rights provided by the government. It lets people decide which way the country or state will turn, who stands at the helm and whose policies will affect everyday lives. Election Day is a time when people have already decided on which candidate they want to represent their political systems. And precisely because elections and the right to vote are so crucial to the country, it is equally important to account for the sanctity for those votes.
That is why voter registration is a necessary step before you are allowed to vote. The process ensures that the person voting is who they say they are.
Who can vote in Iowa?
All residents voting for and from the state of Iowa need to meet specific eligibility criteria to vote. Such a step ensures that the people voting are the ones who have long term vested interest in the smooth functioning of the state. That is to say that a person living in a different state cannot come to Iowa to vote for to Iowa Elections. The eligibility criteria you must meet to be eligible to vote in Iowa is:
- You must be a citizen of the United States
- You must be a resident of the state of Iowa
- You must have attained the age of eighteen before the Election period commences
- You cannot have been deemed by any court or professional institution to be of unsound mind
- You cannot have any prior convictions. The only time you can vote despite having prior convictions is in the case where the authorities have restored your voting rights
What are the different methods through which you can register to vote?
You cannot vote on Election Day unless you have registered yourself as a voter before. Minors who are seventeen years old and above can also pre-register to vote. However, their registrations will only be fully processed once they turn eighteen and if that date falls before Election Day.
If you do not want to register on the day of the elections, then you have the option to pre-register your voting application. You can submit your form by pre-registering only till ten days before general elections, and eleven days before other elections. The ways you can register to vote include:1. Online Registration: If you want to register to vote online in Iowa, then you would need to have either an Iowa Driver's ID or a non-operator's ID. You can go here to fill up your application form.
2. Registration Voter Form: You can alternatively also either download a Voter Registration form from here or pick them up from around you. Places like public schools and libraries, post offices, the election commissioner's office, etc. will all have these forms. Then either mail the application or drop I at the County Auditor's Office.
3. Same Day Registration: If you missed the chance to pre-register your voter application, then you can do so on the day of the elections. On Election Day, you have to visit the designated polling locating for your address and provide verification on your identity and place of residence. If for any reason you cannot submit your proof of identity, then another registered voter residing at your precinct has the option of vouching for you.
You do not have to provide separate documentation verifying your identity. In Iowa, such verification is done through the information you give on your application form, for example, the last four numbers of your Social Security Number.