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Register. Research. Vote.

Nov. 3, 2020 is the United States' general election.

We want to make sure the Drake community has the knowledge and resources to exercise their civic voices and that we are all empowered to make our voices heard by exercising our right to vote. 

We are hoping for 100% participation! Pledge to vote and stay up to date on upcoming deadlines - make your vote plan!

Drake declares Nov. 3 a Day Free of Meetings. 

"On Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, we are all called upon to do our civic duty and vote in our national presidential election. Drake recognizes that this responsibility poses some challenges for employees who are juggling competing personal demands and, depending on where you live, a time commitment that can feel restricting. So, the University is declaring Nov. 3 a meeting-free day to eliminate any time sensitive job responsibilities and give faculty and staff the freedom to take the time to vote without consequence." 

"I Voted, Now What?" - Watch this 17-minute video on different ways you can stay civically engaged after the election. 

To vote in Iowa, you must be registered to vote.
To qualify to register to vote, you must be:

  • A U.S. citizen,
  • An Iowa resident, and
  • At least 17 years old. A person may vote if they will be 18 years old on or before election day. In the case of primary elections, a person may vote if they will be 18 years old on or before the corresponding regular election.

Drake students can be registered to vote either in Iowa or your home state - but you cannot vote in both places.  If you have a new address this year, be sure to update your address. For information specific to college students from the Secretary of State, visit here. 

Registering to Vote

  • To register to vote in Iowa, you can either register online or fill out and return a paper registration form from the Secretary of State's website.  You will receive a voter ID card in the mail after you register.
    • To register online, you must have an Iowa driver's license
  • You can register to vote on Election Day - be sure to bring proof of residency, e.g. residential lease, utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, etc.
  • Drake students living on campus, to access your residence hall address for proof of residency, you can sign into myDrake and under the My Drake Profile category select My Addresses. According to the Secretary of State's office you can print the page and take it to the polling place or show on a phone/mobile device. We highly recommend you bring a printout of your proof of residency when going to vote.   
  • The Secretary of State's website allows you to check your voter registration status, update your registration or address, learn requirements and more. 
  • Check your voter registration status

Early Voting by Absentee Ballot

With the Covid-19 pandemic ongoing, you may decide to submit an absentee ballot so you don't have to go to the polls in person. You must request an absentee ballot request form in order to receive your ballot in the mail. And check out the Absentee Voting Guide from Cowles Library to learn more about how to vote in other states.

Track your ballot!

Drop off voter registration forms or absentee ballot request forms to the drop box in the Student Life Center in Olmsted or take to the county election office, 120 2nd Avenue. 

Need a paper voter registration form or absentee ballot request form? We can help. Contact and she can mail them to you or put in your on-campus mailbox. 

Students in Iowa can request an absentee ballot request form through Campus Elect's online tools at You'll receive a form and a stamped envelope addressed to your county election office. Just sign the form, put it in the envelope and mail it.

Early Voting - In Person

You may cast an absentee ballot in person at the auditor's office prior to the election, starting Oct. 5. For voters who need assistance in marking their ballots, an accessible ballot marking device is available at the county auditor's office. Drake students can do this at the Polk County Auditor's Office at 120 2nd Avenue. 

Important Dates:

Oct. 5 - Absentee voting begins
Oct. 24 - Voter Registration Deadline for online or mail registration 
Oct. 24 - Deadline to request an Absentee Ballot (by 5pm)
Oct. 28 - Satellite Voting in the Knapp Center, 9am-3pm
Nov. 3 - Election Day, polls open 7am-9pm (and deadline for Absentee Ballot to be received by County Auditor).

Drake's Polling Place is Lutheran Church of Hope - Des Moines, 2500 University Ave., near Drake's campus. 

Other Dates:
Sept. 11 - National Day of Service. Sign a pledge to vote card in Helmick Commons from 10am-12pm. 
Sept. 22 - National Voter Registration Day.  
Sept. 25 - Iowa Campus Voting Summit. Free virtual opportunity open to any college student, faculty and staff, 12-4pm. Register here. 
Oct. 19 - Voting Q & A with Campus Election Engagement Fellow Mel Sadecki, 4pm
Oct. 24 - Vote Early Day - when you vote early, you ensure that school, work, long lines, Covid, a natural disaster, etc. won't stop your ballot from being counted!
Nov. 4 - Post-Election Forum, 7-9pm via Zoom. 
Nov. 8 - "I Voted, Now What", 2pm. Open to Drake students and DMPS high school students. 

Voter ID Laws in Iowa

Voters are required to show a form of ID at the polls. This can be an Iowa Driver's license, U.S. passport, and an IA voter ID card (which you will receive in the mail after registration). If you don't have one of the above, another registered voter in your precinct may attest to your identity. If you forget your identification or don't have the correct forms, you may still cast a provisional ballot and then return with the identification.

Learn more about the candidates and their positions on key issues:

Vote Smart's mission is to provide free, factual, unbiased information on candidates and elected officials to all Americans. Explore their website to learn more. 

Campus Elect has also come out with candidate guides - visit

Campus Election Engagement Peer Mel Sadecki has put together a Ballot Guide for your reference. 

Tips for reaching out to your legislators on issues you care about.  
Email/Letter Template

Questions? Reach out to Mel Sadecki at, Community Engagement Peer for Voter Engagement.  Interested in helping with voter engagement outreach? Fill out this short form.

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