The Iowa legislature under Republican control did all they could to limit turnout in Iowa. Among their ploys to blunt the turnout is to shorten the length of time for absentee voting. In previous years it would start 40 days prior to Election Day. That has been cut to 30.
Therefore absentee voting begins Monday October 8th this year. Absentee ballots may be requested now through October 27th. From the Secretary of State’s office:
Absentee Voting by Mail
Registered voters may request an absentee ballot to be sent to them by mail. You must complete an absentee ballot request form and return the original, signed form to your county auditor. The request form does not need to be witnessed or notarized.
Someone who will be 18 years old by the date of an upcoming election may request an absentee ballot if he or she is pre-registered to vote.
Request Deadline for Mailed Ballots
The request form must be received in the county auditor’s office by 5 p.m. on the Friday, eleven days before the election. If the request is for the general election, the deadline to request a ballot by mail is the Saturday, ten days before the election.
If the request is received so late that it is unlikely the absentee ballot can be returned by mail in time to be considered for counting, the county auditor will enclose a statement to that effect with the absentee ballot.
Receiving the Ballot
With the ballot, the county auditor will include instructions on how to mark the ballot as well as how to return the ballot.
Returning the Ballot
You can return your voted absentee ballot by mail. Absentee ballots received in the county auditor’s office by the time the polls close on election day are eligible for counting. Absentee ballots received after the polls close on election day must be postmarked by the Monday before election day or earlier and received in the county auditor’s office no later than noon on the Monday following the election. For school and some city and special elections, the return deadline may be earlier. Read the instructions sent with the ballot.
Voted absentee ballots cannot be delivered to the polling place on election day. If you have not returned your absentee ballot on election day, you have the following options:
Deliver your voted absentee ballot to the county auditor’s office before the polls close on election day,
Surrender your voted absentee ballot at the polls and vote a regular ballot, or
Vote a provisional ballot at the polls if you cannot surrender your voted absentee ballot.
Note that beginning October 8th voting can be done at your county auditor’s office during office hours. Be sure to bring ID.
While some counties may have satellite voting during this period all counties will be open for voting during office hours.