Government

What you need to know to vote in Tuesday's city and school elections

Precincts may look a little different this Election Day as Iowans head to the polls Tuesday to vote in both municipal and school board elections with voter ID requirements in full effect.

While school board elections previously were in September, a bill signed in 2017 by then-Gov. Terry Branstad requires that — starting now — school and city elections be held jointly, partly in an effort to increase voter turnout.

Polls are open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Election Day should see partly sunny skies with a high near 41, and a low that evening of around 25, according to the National Weather Service.

Q: What ID is required at the polls?

A: Precinct election officials are required to ask voters registered in the county to show a valid form of identification. Voter ID is in full effect starting with this election, Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate said.

Acceptable identification includes an Iowa driver’s license or Iowa non-operator ID not expired more than 90 days, a U.S. passport, a U.S. Military or Veteran ID, a signed Iowa Voter Identification Card or a tribal ID card or document signed with a photo.

An Iowa Voter Identification Card is provided by the county auditor to every voter who doesn’t have an Iowa driver’s license or non-operator ID.

Q: What if I forget to bring my ID when I go to vote?

A: No eligible voter will be turned away at the polls, Pate said.

Voters without a form of ID can be vouched for by another registered voter, or provide their residence using Election Day Registration documents and be given a provisional ballot.

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Falsely attesting or being attested for is registration fraud, a felony, and is punishable by a fine of up to $7,500 and up to five years in prison.

Q: Can college students vote?

A: College students can register to vote at their home address or at their college address. Preregistration deadline to vote was 11 days before the election. If you’ve missed preregistration, you may register to vote on Election Day.

Those who will be 18 on or before Election Day can register to vote. Over 4,000 17-year-olds have registered to vote in Iowa, Pate said.

Q: Is it too late to register to vote?

The deadline to register online or by mail for this election has passed. But if eligible to vote, you still can register and cast a ballot at the your precinct on Election Day. See vote.org for details.

Q: Can you register same-day at the polls?

Eligible voters can register and vote on Election Day. Go to the correct polling place with an Iowa driver’s license or other form of ID and proof of current residence. If an ID does not contain a current address, another current document such as residential lease, utility bill, bank statement or paycheck can be used as proof of address.

Q: How can I check my polling location?

You can find your precinct or polling place by visiting the Iowa Secretary of State’s website at sos.iowa.gov, clicking “Find Your Precinct/Polling Place” on the right side of the page, and entering your ZIP.

Q: When can I vote?

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. Absentee ballots can be requested up until Monday. Absentee ballots can be sent to your county auditor’s office, postmarked by Monday, or brought to the county auditor’s office before polls close on Election Day.

Q: If I’m in line when the polls close, will I be allowed to vote?

Yes, if you are in line before 8 p.m., you still will be allowed to vote.

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Q: Should voters expect busier precincts with both municipal and school board elections at the same time?

“I certainly do,” Pate said. Pate said Iowa sees between 4 to 15 percent turnout for municipal and school board elections. This year, he’s expecting a “record number” of more than 35 percent.

Comments: (319) 368-8664; grace.king@thegazette.com

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