Be a more informed voter in Ames, IA!
Find Ames Election Information on Candidates, Absentee Ballots, Voting by Mail, Polling Place Times, Polling Place Locations, and more.
Voter pre-registration deadlines:
-15 days before the election in which you wish to vote
If you were not able to pre-register to vote, you may register to vote on Election Day at the polling place for the precinct where you currently live.
If you are a college student, you may choose to register to vote at your home address or at your college address. You cannot register to vote at both. For more information click on this link.
Election Day Registration: You may register and vote on election day. To do so, you first must go to the correct polling place for your current address on election day. If you are unsure of your polling place, Find Your Precinct/Polling Place. At the polling place, you must prove both who you are and where you live. The best way to do this is with your valid Iowa driver’s license with your current address printed on it.
Voter Registration Qualifications
Age: At least 17 years old. A person may vote if they will be 18 years old on or before election day. In the case of primary elections, a person may vote if they will be 18 years old on or before the corresponding regular election.
Citizenship: Must be a United States citizen
Residency: Must be a resident of Iowa
Mental Competency: Not been judged mentally incompetent to vote by a court
Felony Convictions: Not be a convicted felon (unless your voting rights have been restored.) See Restoration of Rights for more information on restoration of voting rights for convicted felons).
Obtaining a Voter Registration Form
Online: Iowa Voter Registration Form
In person: County auditors' offices
Verifying Your Voter Registration Status
Obtaining an Absentee Ballot
By mail: The request form must be received in the county auditor's office by 5 p.m. on the Friday 15 days before the election. After receiving a request form, the county auditor will mail the voter a ballot. With the ballot, the county auditor will include instructions on how to mark the ballot as well as how to return the ballot.
In person: You may cast an absentee ballot in person at your county auditor's office before any election. You must vote your absentee ballot at the auditor's office. You cannot take the ballot home with you. In-person absentee voting is not available on election day at the auditor's office unless the polls open at noon.
For primary and general elections, absentee ballots will be available no earlier than 20 days at the county auditors' offices.
In-person absentee voting is not available on election day at the auditor's office unless the polls open at noon. If the polls open at noon, you may cast an absentee ballot at the county auditor's office from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on election day.
Submitting an Absentee Ballot
By Mail: Absentee ballots received in the county auditor's office by the time the polls close (at 8 PM CST) on election day are eligible for counting. Absentee ballots must be received by the county auditor’s office by end of polling on Election Day, regardless of when they’re postmarked. You can track the status of your absentee ballot here or call your county auditor’s office. For school and some city and special elections, the return deadline may be earlier. Read the instructions sent with the ballot.
You may also return your absentee ballot in person to your county auditor during business hours or any time up until 8 PM CST on Election Day. You cannot return a voted absentee ballot to your polling location. You may also designate someone to return your ballot under one of the following circumstances:
-The designee is an immediate family member.
-The designee is a member of your household.
-You are disabled and you have designed someone to return your ballot.
You may also surrender your absentee ballot at your precinct polling place on Election Day and vote on a regular ballot. If you are unable to surrender your ballot, you may fill out a provisional ballot.
Iowa voters are required to show an Iowa driver’s license or non-operator ID, U.S. passport, U.S. military ID or veteran’s ID, tribal ID/document or Iowa voter ID card at the polls before they vote. A voter without one of the listed forms of ID may have the voter’s identity attested to by another registered voter in the precinct or may prove identity and residence using Election Day Registration documents. Voters without the necessary ID or an attester will be offered a provisional ballot and can provide ID up until the time of the county canvass of votes (Monday after election day for Primary and General Elections).
Any registered voter who does not have a valid driver's license or non-operator's ID issued by the Iowa Department of Transportation will be issued a Voter ID Card for free, automatically, in the mail. This also applies to anyone who registers to vote in the future. Upon receipt of the Voter ID Card, it should be immediately signed. Obtaining the Voter ID Card does not require any further documentation or action by the voter; voters simply need to be registered to vote in the county where they live.
VOTING ON ELECTION DAY
For Special Elections, please confirm the polling place hours and location with the county auditor as the locations may have been consolidated or vote centers may be used.
For Primary and General Elections, the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. statewide.
For City/School Elections, the polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.
Voters may wear a campaign button or clothing when they go to vote but must leave the polling place as soon as they are done voting. Campaigning or electioneering of any kind in a polling place is illegal; loitering in a polling place while wearing political items is considered electioneering.
Employees of the county auditor's office, precinct election officials, poll watchers, and observers at satellite voting locations are not allowed to wear political items while at the polling place.
If you make a mistake while voting your ballot at the polling place, tell a precinct election official. The official will take the ballot on which you've made the mistake and have you "spoil" it so it cannot be counted. You will then be given another ballot to vote. Voters may receive up to three ballots.
A provisional ballot is used by voters whose qualifications to vote have been challenged, voters who can't prove they are qualified to vote, and voters who requested absentee ballots but did not surrender them at the polls.
If your name is not on the list of registered voters or if someone challenges your right to vote on Election Day, you have the right to cast a provisional ballot. You have the right to provide evidence showing why you are eligible to vote. You may provide evidence to the precinct election officials or to the county auditor's office by the deadline listed on the provisional ballot envelope.
Deciding how to vote: https://votesmart.org
Polling Place: Online Polling Place Finder
Election Day FAQ: Election Day FAQ - Voters
Problems with voting: Call the Voter Hotline at 1-888-SOS-VOTE or fill out the form on this link
Verifying absentee ballot status: Iowa Absentee Ballot Tracker
Voting with disabilities: Voting with Disabilities
The ballot measure would add a right to own and bear firearms to the Iowa Constitution and require strict scrutiny for any alleged violations of the right brought before a court.