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Where to go and what you need to know to vote in Tuesday’s primary

A sign stands outside the State Hygienic Laboratory in Coralville, a polling place during the Iowa caucuses, June 2, 2020. — Emma McClatchey/Little Village

On Tuesday, voters will select the candidates who will appear on the ballot in the November general election. Because this is a primary election for offices elected on a partisan basis, only Democrats and Republicans can vote, and they can only vote for their own party’s candidates.

People registered as No Party or Libertarian can use same-day registration to re-register as Democrats or Republicans to vote on Tuesday. Likewise, registered Democrats or Republicans can change their affiliation to the other party if they are more interested in voting for the other party’s primary candidates.

Voters who change their registration for the primaries can revert to their original affiliation, or lack thereof, starting Wednesday.

Many candidates run unopposed for their party’s nomination, but there are some notable exceptions.

In Johnson County, three Board of Supervisors seats will be on the ballot in November, and five candidates are seeking the Democratic Party nomination for those seats. There are three incumbents looking to keep their seats: Lisa Green-Douglass, Royceann Porter and Rod Sullivan. The two non-incumbent members are Mandi Remington, director of the Corridor Community Action Network, and Bob Conrad, a state trooper and public resource officer for the Iowa State Patrol.

Voter at the West Des Moines Public Library on 11/03/2022. -Lily DeTaeye/Klein Dorpje

Primary voters will also select their party’s candidate in three of the state’s four congressional districts. Neither incumbent Republican Rep. Ashley Hinson nor Democratic challenger Sarah Corkery faces primary opponents in Iowa’s 2nd District, which includes Linn County and northeastern Iowa, but Republican candidates in IA-1 and IA-4 have challengers.

Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks, who represents the First District in Congress even though she lives in the Third, is being challenged by David Pautsch, who owns an advertising agency and runs Thy Kingdom Come Ministries, but is probably best known as the organizer of the annual Quad Cities Prayer Breakfast.

In western Iowa, 4th District Rep. Randy Feenstra is being challenged by Kevin Virgil. Virgil grew up in O’Brien County but left Iowa to attend West Point. He retired from the military in 2000, after reaching the rank of captain, and later founded a data analytics company. He moved back to Iowa in December.

Both Pautsch and Virgil accuse incumbents of not being true conservatives. The expectation is that Miller-Meeks and Feenstra will win easily on Tuesday.

In Iowa’s third congressional district, which includes Polk County, two Democrats, Lanon Baccam and Melissa Vine, are running to challenge incumbent Republican Rep. Zach Nunn in November.

The polling stations are open on Tuesday at 1 p.m. Anyone who has questions about where to go, what ID to vote or how to register to vote Tuesday can find answers in the Q&A below.

Q: When are the polls open on Tuesday? By the way, where should I vote?

A: Voting starts at 7am and ends at 8pm, but if you’re in line when the clock strikes 8am, you can vote. If you have not voted since the 2020 presidential election, please note the polling station closing time of 8:00 PM. Previously, voting continued until 9 p.m. on Election Day, but in 2021, Governor Reynolds signed new voting restrictions that reduced both the number of days for early voting and the time polls are open on Election Day.

Anyone unsure of where to vote can use the online lookup tool on the Iowa Secretary of State’s site. Simply enter your zip code and street to find your district’s survey site. (If you’re not sure what your zip code is, the post office has its own online lookup tool for that.)

Don’t go to the accounting firm. That was an early voting place, but you can’t vote there on Election Day.

Q: What kind of ID do I need to vote?

A: The following types of IDs are acceptable under the state’s voter ID law.

• Iowa Voter Identification Map
•Iowa driver’s license
• Iowa Non-Operator ID
• US Military ID or Veteran ID
• US passport
• Tribal identity card/document

If your current address is not on your ID, you will need one of the following documents as proof of residency.

• Residential rental
• Utility bill, including a mobile phone bill
• Bank statement
• Salary
• Government control
• Other government document
• Real estate tax statement

Q: I want to vote, but I am not registered. What should I do?

A: Iowa has same-day registration, so any adult citizen who goes to the county corresponding to their home address – and has not been stripped of the right to vote by order of a judge or because they have not met all court-ordered requirements after a felony conviction (or convicted of an offense under Chapter 707 of the Iowa Code) – may register and exercise the franchise immediately.

To register you will need one of the IDs mentioned above. If your ID does not show your current address, you will need one of the proofs of residency mentioned above.

Q: Is there help available for voters with disabilities?

A: Yes. Each district should have two officials — one Democrat and one Republican — designated to serve voters with special needs. If the voter prefers to have someone other than the designated officials assist them, that person will be required to sign a voter’s waiver requesting assistance, according to the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office.

Curbside voting is also available for those who cannot easily exit their vehicle. Once the two appointed county officials are notified that a voter requests the curbside option, they deliver a ballot to the voter.

Anyone with questions about voting assistance can call the county auditor’s office.

Johnson County residents vote in the primary election at the Senior Center on Tuesday, June 7, 2022 in Iowa City, Iowa. – Adria Timmerman/Klein Dorp

Q: I received an absentee ballot in the mail, but I’ve decided I want to vote in person on Tuesday. Can I do that?

A: Yes. Take your absentee ballot to your polling place, explain your situation to a polling place, and turn in the absentee ballot. Then you can vote as usual. But you must return your absentee ballot first so it can be disposed of properly.

Q: I filled out the absentee ballot and would like to use it instead of voting in person. What shall I do?

A: Well, it’s too late to mail it in, but you can still drop off your completed and sealed absentee ballot at the auditor’s office before it closes on Tuesday. Due to ongoing construction of the county administration building, the Johnson County Auditor’s Office in Iowa City has temporarily moved across the street to the third floor of the county’s Health and Human Services Building (855 S Dubuque St). In Linn County, the accounting firm is located in the Jean Oxley Linn County Public Service. The Polk County Auditor’s elections office is located at 120 2nd Ave in Des Moines.