Last updated: Sep 15, 2020


Iowa Election Policies & Readiness

Last updated: August 3, 2020

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate took action to address the coronavirus outbreak before the state’s June 2 primary, leading to an all-time record primary turnout. Pate’s office sent all of the state’s two million registered voters a postcard that made it easy to request absentee ballots, with a resulting 10-fold increase in voting by mail. He also extended the early voting period from 29 to 40 days.

Shortly after the primary, lawmakers enacted a law effective June 24th requiring that the Secretary of State submit future proposals to change statewide election procedure to a Legislative Council made up of a select group of lawmakers from both houses of the legislature. This Legislative Council would be required to approve any proposed statewide change in advance. Should the Council not approve the Secretary of State’s proposals, it is empowered to present and approve its own procedural changes.

Latest Updates:

  • 8/27/20 - Ballot Drop Box: In a series of auditor trainings in late August, the Secretary of State’s office told county auditors that they cannot use drop boxes to collect absentee ballots in the general election under the office’s interpretation of an Iowa law governing ballot submission.