On Tuesday, June 4, 2024, Iowans head to the polls for the June primary, a crucial step in determining the candidates who will appear on the Nov. 5 ballot for both Democrats and Republicans across federal, legislative, and local races.

Iowa has a primary

Iowa operates a closed primary system, requiring voters to be registered with either the Democratic or Republican Party to participate. In Linn County, no contested primary contests are slated for Tuesday.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette says that as of Thursday evening, the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office reported that nearly 21,000 absentee ballots had been returned out of over 24,000 issued, a lower figure compared to the over 73,000 absentee votes cast during the June 2022 primary.

In the June 7, 2022, primary, over 357,000 Iowans, constituting about 16 percent of all registered voters, took part—an impressive turnout, though not surpassing the record-breaking 2020 primary that saw over 529,000 ballots cast.

As of May 1, Iowa boasted about 2.2 million registered voters, with Democrats comprising about 30 percent, Republicans 35 percent, and the remaining 35 percent categorized as no-party voters.

During the 2022 primary, voter turnout was approximately 7 percent for registered Democrats and 9 percent for registered Republicans. Notably, around 25 percent of Democrats and 16 percent of Republicans opted for absentee voting ahead of the primary election.


How do you get registered?

If you haven't done it by now it could be a little late for the Primary.  The deadline for voter registration prior to the June 4 primary was May 20. To verify your voter registration status, you can visit the Iowa Secretary of State’s website.

If you didn't register before the deadline, you still have the option to register on Election Day. However, you'll need to present a valid photo ID. If your photo ID doesn't include your current address, you'll also need to provide proof of residence, such as a utility bill.

Where do I go to cast my vote?

Iowa lets you put your address information and will tell you where your polling place is.  You can look for that information here Iowa Voting Locations

Returning your absentee ballot

 Absentee ballots can be returned through various methods, including mailing them, dropping them off at a designated ballot drop box, or personally delivering them to your county auditor’s office.

For mailed absentee ballots to be counted, they must reach the county auditor’s office by the time polls close at 8 p.m. on Election Day.

It's important to note that absentee ballots cannot be returned to polling places on Election Day. If voters haven't yet returned their absentee ballots, they have several options:

  1. Deliver the absentee ballot to the county auditor's office before the polls close on Election Day.
  2. Surrender their absentee ballot at the polls and cast a regular ballot.
  3. If unable to surrender their absentee ballot, they can vote a provisional ballot at the polls.
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You can monitor the status of your absentee ballot through a tool available on the Iowa Secretary of State’s website.

When can you vote?

Polling hours are set from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Iowa law mandates that voters present a current, valid photo ID with an expiration date when casting their vote on Election Day. Should you lack a valid ID, alternatives include having another registered voter vouch for your identity or providing proof of identity and residence via Election Day registration documents.

The forms of identification below are acceptable for individuals without an Iowa driver’s license and they include:

  • Iowa non-operator ID
  • Out-of-state driver’s license or non-operator ID
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. military or veteran ID
  • ID card issued by an employer
  • Student ID issued by an Iowa high school or college
  • Tribal ID card/document

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