Primary & General Elections
If you have not registered to vote yet (you can check here), you will need to register to vote at the location before you vote. The Iowa Secretary of State lists the documents that are accepted for identification and if needed, proof of address. We recommend you have those on hand on Voting Day to make the process smooth and efficient for our poll workers, or in case your registration was somehow not received.
2. When to Vote
- Absentee: If you requested a ballot before an election, you should be able to mail your ballot, return it in person to the dropbox outside your county auditor's office, or designate someone else to drop it off for you. If you decide to vote in person on Election Day and you requested an absentee ballot, you need to bring your absentee ballot to your polling place, where they will ask you to mark it as void, and you can vote with a normal ballot.
- Early Voting (in-person): Your county auditor's office typically is open to allow in-person early voting. There may also be satellite voting locations. Contact your county auditor's office for more information.
- Election Day voting (in-person): If you prefer to vote in person on election day, you can find your precinct poll location here. Polls are open from 7am-9pm on election day. Curbside voting is also available as an option for those unable to enter the building. Remember to bring some materials to prove your identity and/or residence, should something fail with your voter registration. You can always register to vote on election day if you have the proper identification and proof of residence.
- If your voting credentials are challenged, you don't have ID, or did not surrender your absentee ballot, then you will need to vote using a provisional ballot. Please note that this process is complex, and should only be used when no other option is available. To prevent anyone from entering this aspect, we recommend you bring the documents needed to prove your ID with you to the polls.
3. What to Expect
- Long lines - Sometimes elections or precinct polling places are very popular. This can result in excessively long lines, so be prepared to wait even hours to vote. Make sure your phone is charged, bring a novel, etc.
- Voter ID - You are required to bring a form of identification to the polls. For most voters, that will be their driver's license or voter ID card, but your passport, tribal ID, veteran's ID, employer ID, and a few others are accepted. Please bring ID & residence proof just in case your identity is challenged.
- Voting booth - you may vote on paper ballots or electronic ballots. If you don't know the candidates in your precinct, you may find sample ballots on your county auditor's webpage. The Iowa YRs will attempt to provide a list of the candidates in partisan races for your perusal.
- Voting tabulation - your paper ballot is inserted into a tabulation machine that counts your vote, along with most others in your precinct. If you are concerned about voter security, you can view this video. If you would like to poll watch, you can contact your county party to volunteer.
4. Track your Absentee Ballot:
If you have cast an absentee ballot, you can track if your ballot was requested, sent, or received at your county auditor's office through the absentee ballot tracking system on the Secretary of State's website. Make sure your vote is received!
The election results will not be official until some time after election, as ballots postmarked by election day can be counted if received before the following Monday. Many candidates will choose to concede before results are certified, so you can follow their accounts on social media to see the latest updates.
In 2022, caucuses were set to February 7, 2022 at 7pm. The county parties are then responsible for setting up caucus locations, in many cases paying to use space at churches, schools, and other local venues. Each precinct within the county is assigned a location at which to meet.
You may register to vote online or with a voter registration form. If you are not registered to vote as a Republican on caucus night, you will need to register to vote at your caucus site. The Iowa Secretary of State lists the documents that are accepted for proof of identification and proof of residency. Please have these documents with you at caucus, in case your voter registration was somehow not received or there is an issue. You are encouraged to register well before caucus day to ensure a smooth caucus night.
2. Find Your Caucus Site:
You must know your precinct in order to find your caucus site. You can find your precinct on your county auditor's website. The 2022 caucuses are based on the new precincts drawn from the 2020 census, so your precinct will likely be different than 2020. Once you have your precinct, you should check the Iowa GOP webpage or the Iowa YR webpage to find your proper location. Multiple precincts may meet at the same location to order to better provide resources to all precincts.
3. What to Expect:
Caucuses are designed to gather all local Republicans together to elect party leadership and decide on the party's goals. In presidential election years, the caucus participants must also select the presidential candidate.
- Arrive early. County parties will cut off the check in line promptly at 7pm, and outside participation is barred.
- Caucus sites often have petitions for candidates to get onto the ballot. These are not to cast your vote, but only to get the candidates on the ballot.
- Each precinct should have an assigned temporary caucus chair & caucus secretary. These individuals have been trained by the party and should be able to answer most questions.
- Lincoln Bag: the county party must reserve locations, often with their funds, to hold caucuses. Every little bit donated to the county party helps them run a more efficient party. Donations over $25 require your name, address, and the amount of the donation.
- Caucus Chair & Secretary: These individuals are responsible for your precinct's caucus night activities, including taking responsibility for ensuring your votes and platform ideas are sent to the county and state party leadership.
- Central Committee Members: These individuals run the county party. They are responsible for running county party events, supporting the election of Republicans to public office, recruiting candidates, selecting caucus sites, and more. These individuals represent your precinct on the county level from 2022-2024.
- Delegates: These individuals vote on the development of the county platform, and select a delegation from the county to attend the district and state conventions. In addition, they select candidates in races where a GOP primary candidates does not receive 35% of the vote, such as how Mike Naig was selected in 2018.
- Delegates are required to be selected at caucus and cannot be selected after the close of caucus.
- Platform: The platform establishes the values & goals of the Republican Party for the next 2 years. As caucus attendees, you may submit platform planks and vote as a precinct to include these values/goals.
After caucus, the newly elected delegates attend county convention on Saturday, March 12, 2022. Those delegates attending the county convention select delegates for district convention, which occurs on April 23, 2022, and the state convention on June 11, 2022.