Register. Research. Vote.
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.
*Drake students voted at an almost 15% higher rate than the national average in 2020, with 8 in 10 (80.4%) of students voting! Read Drake's 2020 NSLVE Campus Report.
Registering to Vote
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
- Applications for registration must be postmarked by Oct. 24 or received by the County Auditor (Polk County Auditor, 120 2nd Avenue, Des Moines, IA) by 5pm on Oct. 24.
- You can register to vote on Election Day in Iowa - be sure to bring a photo ID with an expiration date and proof of residency no more than 45 days old (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 Information. According to the Secretary of State's office you may 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.
- We've partnered with the non-partisan Student PIRGs New Voter Project - register to vote at https://studentvote.org/?source=Drake and get important updates on upcoming deadlines and dates, etc.
2022 Election Dates
- Wednesday, October 19 – Satellite Voting in the Knapp Center (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.); First Day of Absentee Voting
- Monday, October 24 – Pre-registration Deadline; Deadline to Request Absentee Ballot to be Mailed
- Saturday, November 5 – Auditors’ Offices Open for Absentee Voting
- Monday, November 7 – Absentee Ballot In-Person Deadline
- Tuesday, November 8 – General Election Day; Absentee Ballots Receipt Deadline
- Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.
Voting on Election Day
Find your polling place on the Secretary of State's website. Drake's Polling Place is Hope + Elim Church - Des Moines, 2500 University Ave., near Drake's campus.
Voter ID Laws in Iowa
Voters are required to show a form of ID with an expiration date at the polls. This may be an Iowa Driver's license, U.S. passport, and a signed 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.
Early Voting by Absentee Ballot
- You may decide to submit an absentee ballot for many reasons - in the event of bad weather on election day, feeling ill, or having a full schedule. Voting by absentee ballot allows you to vote on your own schedule.
- You must request an absentee ballot request formin order to receive your ballot in the mail.
- The request must be received by the County Auditor (Polk County Auditor, 120 2nd Avenue, Des Moines, IA) no later than 5:00pm 15 days before the election.
- Check out the Absentee Voting Guide from Cowles Library to learn more about how to vote in other states.
- Students in Iowa can request an absentee ballot request form through Campus Elect's online tools at https://campuselect.org/voter-tools/.
- 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.
- Know your Rights - you have rights when it comes to being a voter. Learn more.
- Need an absentee ballot request form or help getting it to the county auditor's office? We can help! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Not sure what's going to be on your ballot? Check out a sample ballot.
Also on Iowa's ballot in November:
Iowa Amendment 1, the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Amendment, is on the ballot in Iowa as a legislatively referred constitutional amendment.
A "yes" vote supports adding a right to own and bear firearms to the Iowa Constitution and require strict scrutiny for any alleged violations of the right brought before a court.
A "no" vote opposes adding a right to own and bear firearms to the Iowa Constitution and require strict scrutiny for any alleged violations of the right brought before a court.
Stay Civically Engaged
There's many ways to stay civically engaged in your community aside from voting.
- Watch this 17-minute video on different ways you can stay civically engaged after the election - "I Voted, Now What?"
- Attend city council meetings, school board meetings, or neighborhood association meetings to stay up to date on issues affecting your community
- Reach out to elected officials about topics you care about
- Participate in student government
- Run for public office
- Write an editorial in your local newspaper like the Drake Political Review or Times Delphic
- Read up on how to have civic dialogue - Civic Dialogue Resources (articles, podcasts, and documentaries)
- Gain more ideas on the Pathways for Civic Action and Social Change Website. Policy and governance is one of the 6 Pathways!
Questions? Reach out to Stephanie Kiel, Community Engagement Peer for Civic Engagement, at email@example.com. Interested in helping with voter engagement outreach? Contact Stephanie!