Primary Election

In a primary election, no candidates are elected.  Instead, voters who are affiliated with political parties nominate their candidates to run in the general election.  Only voters affiliated with a political party may vote, but any Iowa voter may declare or change party affiliation at any time.  Currently, Iowa has three groups with full political party status: the Democratic, Republican, and Libertarian parties.

2018 Primary Election

The next Primary Election is June 5th, 2018. Polls will be open from 7 AM - 9 PM.
  • February 26 - March 16, Federal and State candidate filing period. File with the Iowa Secretary of State.
  • March 5 - March 28, County candidate filing period. File with the auditor's office.  
  • Monday, May 7 - First day for in-person absentee voting at auditor's office and first day to mail domestic absentee ballots. 
  • Friday, May 25 - Voter pre-registration deadline and last day to request mailed absentee ballot, by 5 p.m. Voters are still able to register after this date using election day registration procedure. For election day registration requirements click here.

Sample Ballots

Offices that have opposition have candidate names rotated by precinct. View Sample Ballots in the Archive Center. Choose either the Republican or Democrat document.