Voter Pre-registration Requirements
Registering to vote is a legal requirement to vote in Iowa. To register a person must:
be at least 18 years old by Election Day
be a United States citizen
be an Iowa resident
not have been convicted of a felony (or, if convicted of a felony, have had voting rights restored)
not have been judged mentally incompetent by a court of law
give up the person's right to vote in any other place.
A person who registers at the polls on Election Day must provide acceptable proof of identity and current residency in the precinct.
How to Register to Vote
To vote in Iowa, you must be registered to vote.
You can register in one of the following ways:
1. Complete the Iowa Voter Registration Form and return to:
Cerro Gordo County Auditor
220 N. Washington Ave.
Mason City, IA 50401
2. Online Voter Registration (will need valid Iowa Driver's License or non-operator ID)
3. Election Day Voter 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 1) who you are and 2) where you live.
Who You Are ~ Proof of ID
If you do not have an Iowa driver’s license, you may use a photo ID that is current, valid, and contain an expiration date. The following are acceptable IDs:
Iowa non-driver ID card
Out-of-state driver's license or non-driver ID card
U.S. military ID
ID card issued by employer
Student ID issued by Iowa high school or college
Where You Live ~ Proof of Residence
If your photo ID does not contain your current address, you may use another document to prove where you live if it contains your name and current address. The following are acceptable proofs of residence:
Utility bill (including a cell phone bill)
Government check or other government document
No ID or Residence? You Will Need An Attester
If you cannot prove who you are and where you live with the documents listed above, a registered voter from your precinct may attest for you. Both you and the attester will be required to sign an oath swearing the statements being made are true.
Falsely attesting or being attested for is registration fraud. It is a class “D” felony and is punishable by a fine of up to $7,500 and up to 5 years in prison.
Absentee voting allows a registered voter to cast their vote without going to the polls on Election Day. The date absentee voting is available to the public is announced via media outlets.
How do I obtain an Absentee Ballot?
You may obtain an absentee ballot by one of the following ways:
- A written request for an absentee ballot addressed to the County Auditor must include all of the following information:
- Registered voter's name
- Date of birth
- driver's license/non-operator's ID or voter ID PIN
- Mailing address
- Name or date of the election for which you are requesting an absentee ballot
- Call the County Auditor's office at (641) 421-3027 and ask an Absentee Ballot Request Form be mailed to you. Once you receive the request form, you must complete the form and mail or drop off the completed form at the County Auditor's office. Once the form is received, a ballot will be mailed to your mailing address.
How to Return a Voted Absentee Ballot
A voter may personally deliver or mail a voted absentee ballot to the County Auditor’s office or designate another person to do so. If a voter designates another person to return the ballot, the voter may require the other person to sign and give the voter a receipt.
An absentee ballot that is physically received in the County Auditor’s office by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day is considered on time to be counted.
An absentee ballot received in the County Auditor’s office between Election Day and noon the day after the election must either bear a legible postmark dated prior to Election Day or must have been electronically tracked in the U.S. Postal Service system prior to Election Day.
It is each voter’s responsibility to deliver or mail the voted ballot early enough to ensure it is on time to be counted.
Military and Overseas Voters
For local questions or personal assistance, contact:
Tracie Siemers, Deputy Auditor