What to know about changes to Iowa elections

Scott Co. election commissioner says Iowa election changes are working
Published: Nov. 6, 2023 at 11:15 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 6, 2023 at 11:21 PM CST
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - The state of Iowa has made some changes to elections in recent years, including voter I.D. requirements, inactive voter statuses and absentee ballots.

Voters who do not participate in three consecutive general elections will be removed from voter rolls and will need to re-register with their county’s auditor office, or at a poll site, in order to vote again.

This change went into effect in 2020 so no voters will be impacted until after the 2024 election. However, those who did not vote in 2020 or 2022 have received notices informing them that their voter status is “inactive.”

Scott Co. Auditor and Commissioner of Elections, Kerri Tompkins, says this change is to clean up voter rolls and make elections more secure.

“When we’re sending out those voter inactive cards, what we want to know is, are you still there at home, or did you move.” said Tompkins, “Then they can reach out to us and let us know.” She added, “Sometimes they may have moved to another state and we didn’t get notified. And so it’s a great opportunity that we find that out.”

when we’re sending out those voter inactive cards, we want to know is are you still there us at home did you move. And so then they can reach out to us and let us know sometimes that just somebody may have moved to another state and we didn’t get notified. And so it’s a great opportunity that we find that out.

Voters are now required to present an I.D. when they vote. You must present one of the following:

  • Iowa driver’s license
  • Iowa non-operator I.D.
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. military or veterans I.D. card

If you do not have any of the aforementioned forms of I.D., or you cannot afford one, you can get a free voter I.D. by visiting your county’s auditor office and providing other forms of identification to verify who you are. Each voter I.D. comes with a pin number and you must sign it. Those who already have one will be able to use it to vote on Tuesday.

“It’s similar to a voter registration card, but it’s not it actually has a four digit pin number on it,” said Tompkins, “and that’s how we know that that’s for that person. So we verified that the voter is who they are right through registration through that system, and then we can send them a pin card.”

Those who wish to vote by mail must make the request to their county before a specific deadline, ahead of an election. Voters who have not mailed in their absentee ballots for Tuesday’s elections must turn it in to their county’s auditor office before polls close at 8 p.m.

If you are unable to drop it off at the county office on Tuesday, you can bring the absentee ballot to a nearby poll site to have it made invalid, and then you can vote directly at the polls.

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.