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January 2018 Issuance Voter IDs, Acceptance of Absentee Ballot Requests under the new Election Law:

As we approach January 2018, here is an update on issuance of Voter IDs, and the timeline for acceptance of Absentee Ballot Requests under the new Election Law:


Voter IDs in the mail:


  • During the next week, each Iowa registered voter who does NOT have a valid Iowa Driver’s License or non-operator ID should receive in the mail a new “Iowa Voter Identification Card”.  The Secretary of State’s office has begun mailing out approximately 123,000 of these cards.  Approximately 3,200 registered voters in Linn County will be receiving one of these cards  in an envelope that looks like this:

  • Voters who receive one of these cards should sign it immediately, and put it in their wallet to have handy to present when they vote at the polls, or to copy their PIN number onto any Absentee Ballot Request Form they may wish to submit.


  • For each Iowa voter who DOES have an Iowa Driver’s License or non-operator ID, that IDL / ID will be their voter ID, accepted for up to 90 days after its expiration date.


Absentee Ballot Request Timeline:


  • Under the new law, Absentee Ballot Requests may be submitted no more than 120 days prior to the election for which the ballot is requested.   For the June 5, 2018 Primary Election, requests may be submitted no earlier than February 5.


  • The new deadline for submitting a request to receive an Absentee Ballot by mail is 10 days before General Elections and  11 days before other elections (on the pre-registration deadline).  For the June 5, 2018 Primary Election, the Absentee Ballot Request Deadline is Friday, May 25.  The Absentee Ballot Request (with wet ink signature) must be received in the County Auditor’s office by 5 pm on the deadline date.


  • Under the new law, the voter must include their Voter Verification Number on each Absentee Ballot Request.  That Verification Number will be the voter’s Iowa Driver’s License / Non-operator ID number if they have one, or the PIN number from the Iowa Voter ID Card they will receive if they do not have a valid IDL / DOT ID.


As a reminder:  Starting January 1, 2018 voters will be asked for ID at the polls.

Acceptable IDs are: 

  • Iowa Driver’s License or Non-Operator ID (not expired more than 90 days)

  • US Passport (not expired)

  • US Military or Veteran’s ID (not expired)

  • Iowa Voter Identification Card (must be signed)


During 2018, voters who forget to take ID with them to the polls will be allowed to sign an additional oath and vote a regular ballot.  During 2019, another voter (registered in their precinct, and who does have ID) may attest to their identity at the polls, or they may vote a provisional ballot and supply ID in the days following the election.


If you would like Linn County Election Services send a speaker or provide an information table about these or other election / voter registration related topics during any of your organization’s upcoming events, you may submit a request via:





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