Absentee Voting Instructions

Following are instructions for marking your Absentee Ballot Card. Absentee Ballots can be requested from the Auditor's Office 45 days prior to an election. If you have any problems or questions please call us at (515) 573-7175. If you need to request an Absentee Ballot, visit the Request Absentee Voting Form page.

Marking Your Ballot

  1. Vote in Secrecy. Iowa law requires that absentee voters mark their ballots so that no other person will know how that ballot is marked
  2. Study the Ballot Carefully! Determine the candidates and public measure (if any) for which you wish to vote, locate the voting position opposite the names or questions. Once you have marked your ballot, the mark cannot be erased without spoiling the ballot.
  3. Use a #2 Pencil. Using only a #2 pencil, connect the head and tail of the arrow that points to the candidate of your chose. Marks made by other pens or pencils may not be readable by the machine that will tabulate your votes.
  4. Overvoting. If you mark voting positions next to the names of more candidates than can be elected to any single office, your vote for that office will not be counted.
  5. Write-in Votes. If you wish to vote for any person whose name is not printed on the ballot, write the name of that person in the appropriate blank space and connect the head and tail of the arrow that points to the name you have written. If you do not connect the arrow opposite the name you have written on the ballot, your write-in vote cannot be counted. Marking the voting position without writing a name will not spoil the rest of your ballot.
  6. No Extra Marks. Please do not put any marks on the ballot other than your voting mark or writing a person's name as described above.

Returning Your Ballot

  1. Sign the Affidavit. After marking your ballot, sign the voter's oath on the affidavit envelope. The white label gives your precinct, ballot number, etc. All you need to do is add your signature, address and date. If the ballot was folded, fold it exactly as it was folded before. Place the ballot in the affidavit envelope and seal it. Put the affidavit envelope in the return carrier and seal it.
  2. Postmark Before Election Day. The return carrier envelope must be postmarked no later than the day before the election. Ballots must be received by the county commissioner by 9 a.m. the Monday following the election in order to be counted.
  3. Return Postage. Return postage for your ballot may exceed $.60 depending on the size of the ballot. The absentee ballot must be returned to the commissioner regardless of whether you voted or not.

Voting with Assistance