There’s been some confusion on how to vote safely during the 2020 election. To help clarify, we’ve pulled together this quick guide.
Register to Vote
Are you registered to vote? If you are unsure, you can check on the Secretary of State website. If you are not registered, visit the Iowa DOT Iowa Electronic Voter Registration page. You’ll need a driver’s license or ID number. Once you’ve completed your voter registration form, you will receive your registration card in the mail from your county auditor in about two weeks. You can also register by mail.
Educate Yourself on the Candidates
There are several ways to learn more about the candidates who will be on your ballot. Start by finding out who represents you at the state and federal level and who will be on your ballot. The Iowa City Area Business Partnership has hosted candidate forums that can be found on our website. If you’re looking for just the facts on a candidate, check out the VoteSmart.org website for detailed data on a candidate’s platform, funding contributions, voting record and past speeches. Tune into the Iowa Press Debates on PBS to watch the candidates discuss their platforms.
Vote via Absentee Ballot
You’ve probably received several absentee ballots request forms in the mail. If you are confused, you are not alone! The correct absentee ballot request form can be found on the Auditor’s website. You must request an absentee ballot by October 23rd or 10 days prior to the general election. You will need your driver’s license or non-operator ID number in order to request your ballot. Worried about your absentee ballot getting to your house in time? Track your ballot on the Secretary of State’s website. If you have any further questions, contact the Johnson County Auditor’s office at 319-356-6004.
If voting in-person is more your speed, you will have the opportunity to vote early starting October 5th.
Voting will take place in the parking ramp north of the Johnson County Health and Human Services Building, 855 S. Dubuque St. Voting hours will be 8 am to 5 pm weekdays through Monday, November 2nd. There will also be opportunities to vote at satellite locations throughout Johnson County. Public libraries throughout Johnson County as well as the Iowa Memorial Union will host voting at various times and dates through October. Find out more about satellite voting on the Auditor’s website.
Vote on November 3rd
If you like to vote on election day, mark your calendar for November 3rd. Make sure to confirm your precinct and polling place prior to the election. High voter turnout is expected, so wait times may be longer than usual. As long as you are in line before polling closes, you will be able to cast your ballot. Bring a face covering and practice social distancing to protect fellow voters and poll workers.
Track Election Results
With a record number of people voting by absentee ballot, we may not know results for several days after the November 3rd election. You can track official results of all races from city, state and federal levels at the Secretary of State’s website or the Johnson County Auditor’s website. The Associated Press is also a good source for real-time election results.