A Mom’s Guide to Voting in the 2022 General Election

Short of running for office, participating in elections is the best and most direct way to make our voices heard in our local, state, and national governments. This post is not about WHO you should vote for.  That is a very personal decision that should be based on careful research on the candidates and issues that are most important to you.  Rather, this post is about HOW to go about voting in this year’s general election in Johnson County, and the Iowa City area.  Considering the special challenges parents face in getting to the polls (e.g. work, families, and caring for young children), here is everything you need to know to vote this year: early in person, in person on election day, or by absentee ballot.

**Disclaimer:  Every effort has been made to provide correct and accurate information here.  However, you are strongly encouraged to verify information such as polling place hours, locations, and documentation requirements with the County Auditor’s Office prior to heading out to vote. ***

Registering to Vote:

If you are at least 17 1/2 years old, you may register to vote, although you must be 18 on election day in order to participate in the election. You should update your voter registration whenever you move, or if you change your name.  You can check your voter registration status on the Secretary of State’s Website.

In Iowa you are able to register to vote all the way up to the actual day of the election.  If you register to vote at the polling place on election day, you must bring with you a valid driver’s license or non-driving photo ID and proof of address (like a utility bill).  Prior to ten days before the election, you may register to vote, either in person at your county auditor’s office or by mail. If you move but have a valid Iowa driver’s license, you can update your voter registration online.

An important change to Iowa voter laws this year has to do with restoration of voting rights for those previously convicted of a felony.  Information on voter rights restoration can by found on the Governor’s website.


How to Vote:

In person, on election day:

The most straightforward way to cast your ballot in the election is to go to the polling place for your precinct on election day.  This year’s general election is on Tuesday, November 8th.  You WILL be required to show a photo ID in order to cast a ballot. Acceptable forms of identification include:

  • Iowa driver’s license or non-operator ID
  • US passport
  • tribal ID card/document
  • US military or veteran ID
  • Iowa voter ID card

If you do not have a photo ID, you can still cast a provisional ballot by having another registered voter attest to your identity, or by using certain documents.  Information on voter identification requirements can be found on the Secretary of State’s website.

If you are registering to vote on election day you will ALSO need proof of residency (like a utility bill).  Polls will be open at most locations from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.  You can find a list of Johnson County precincts and polling places here. Note that some polling places have changed since the last election. Check your polling place carefully!

In person, early voting:

Early voting in Iowa begins on October 19th, allowing people to vote in person at a time that best fits into their work/life/family schedule.  In Johnson County, you can go to the county auditor’s office  (located at 913 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City) any weekday from October 19th through November 7th between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and cast your ballot.   Drive-Thru Voting is available at the Health and Human Services Parking Ramp (855 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City).  Weekend hours will be available Saturday November 5th from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday November 6th from 8:00 am to 3:00 p.m.  Like election day voting, you will be required to show a photo identification to cast your ballot.

In addition to early voting at the Auditor’s office, there are many satellite locations where you are able to cast a ballot on specific days and times.  You do not need to reside in the precinct where the satellite voting location is located in order to vote early at that location, but you WILL need a photo ID.

Early Voting Locations and Times:

Complete list is on the Auditor’s Office website

Auditor’s Office

913 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City
Weekdays 8:00 am to 5:00 PM p.m.
Wednesday October 19 through Monday, November 7

Weekend Hours
Saturday, November 5, 8 AM – 5 PM
Sunday, November 6, 8 AM – 3 PM

Iowa Memorial Union
125 N. Madison St., Iowa City
Downstairs – near Hawk Shop
Wednesday, October 19 through Friday, October 21
9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Purpose Place (formerly Dream City and Kingdom Center)
611 Southgate Ave., Iowa City
Sunday, October 23, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Tiffin City Hall
300 Railroad St, Tiffin
Tuesday, October 25, 7:00 am – 1:00 pm

Iowa City Public Library
123 S. Linn St., Iowa City
Sunday, October 30, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Monday, October 31 through Wednesday, November 2, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Thursday, November 3, noon – 6:00 p.m.

Coralville Public Library
1401 5th St., Coralville
Saturday, November 5, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sunday, November 6, noon – 4:00 pm

North Liberty Community Library
520 W. Cherry St., North Liberty
Saturday, November 5, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday, November 6, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Before planning to vote early at a specific location, you should check the county auditor’s website to be sure that nothing has changed in the early voting schedule.  The full updated list of satellite voting locations can be found here.

Absentee Ballot:

If none of the times or locations available for early in-person voting are convenient for you, or if you just prefer to vote in the privacy of your own home, you can easily vote by absentee ballot.  Any registered voter in the state of Iowa can request an absentee ballot.  The process is so incredibly easy: just download the Absentee Ballot Request Form, fill it out, sign it, and return it to the county auditor.  You will need to provide certain information such as a driver’s license number to confirm your identity.  In Iowa City you can mail or hand deliver your application to this address:

Johnson County Auditor
913 S Dubuque St. Suite 101
Iowa City IA 52240

After the office receives your request for a ballot, they will mail you a ballot.  It comes with a postage-paid, addressed return envelope.  You will fill out your ballot, seal it in the envelope, and drop it into the mail.  Be sure to follow ALL of the instructions in your ballot, to prevent your ballot from being rejected for any reason.  The deadline to request an absentee ballot for the 2022 General Election is Monday, October 24 at 5:00 PM  In order to be counted in the election, your ballot must arrive at the Auditor’s office by the close of the polls (8 PM) on election day.  You can track your ballot on the Secretary of State’s Website to be sure it has been received and counted.  Someone else can deliver your ballot to the Auditor’s office for you, if certain requirements are met.  Full information about voting by absentee ballot can be found here.

So there you have it.  No matter your work, life, or family challenges, there is a way and a place for you to participate in this election.   Who you vote for is up to you.  Let’s make our voices heard, friends!

Still have questions?  Here are some more resources:

Election Day FAQ (Secretary of State)

Voter Registration FAQ (Secretary of State)

Where’s my Polling Place?

Sample Ballots

How will YOU vote in this year’s election?
Sarah Bengtson
Sarah is a proud Iowa native who currently lives in North Liberty with her husband and 2 sons. She grew up in rural Benton county and moved to the Iowa City area in 2005 to attend graduate school at the University of Iowa in Physical Therapy. Now she balances raising two growing boys with a work as a pediatric physical therapist. Outside of work and family, Sarah loves music, playing her cello, running, baking, crochet, church activities, and cheering for the Hawkeyes and the Minnesota Vikings.


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