Iowa Secretary of State Implores Voters Registering at the Polls, "Please go early."

Nov 7, 2016

Polls open Tuesday at 7:00 am and close at 9:00 pm, making Iowa the state with the second-longest polling hours nationwide. Voters who are in line by 9:00 pm, but haven’t voted yet, will still be able to register and submit a ballot.

Secretary of State Paul Pate says Iowans have a big window for voting. But that doesn’t mean people should wait until the last minute, especially for those opting for same-day registration.

“Please go early,” says Pate. “If they’re any kind of issue at all with what they need to get you registered to vote, you want time to get that done. I don’t want anyone to be disenfranchised. So the best way to do that is to vote early and get it taken care off.”

Voters planning to register at their polling precinct should make sure to bring a form, such as a utility bill, paycheck or lease, or an ID to verify their address. Pate says a government-issued ID, like Driver’s License, is easiest.

Iowa also allows another person to vouch for an unregistered voter, to verify their identity and address. Both attester and voter are required to sign an oath swearing the statements about address and identity are true.

Falsely attesting is a felony and can result in a five-year prison sentence.

For those who still have an absentee ballot, it’s best to turn it into the county courthouse or a polling precinct. Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by Monday, but delivering the absentee vote in-person assures the ballot isn’t lost in the mail and not counted.