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Your Ballot

Your Ballot

During an election, you may vote at your polling place on Election Day or choose to vote early in the Auditor's Office, by mail, or in general elections at a satellite location. Your ballot style and marking instructions will be the same for any location.

Read below how to correctly mark your ballot. Then, depending on the voting option you chose, how to submit your ballot.

Your Ballot:

  • There are different ballots for different precincts. When you vote, you will be given the ballot for the precinct in which you live.
  • [ See sample ballots ]

Marking Ballot ExampleUsing a pen or pencil completely darken the oval(s) next to your choice.

Marking Your Ballot:

  • Vote in Secrecy
    Iowa law requires that absentee voters mark their ballots so that no other person will know how that ballot is marked
  • Study the Ballot Carefully
    Determine the candidates and public measure (if any) for which you wish to vote, locate the voting position opposite the names or questions. Once you have marked your ballot, the mark cannot be erased without spoiling the ballot.
  • Mark Selection
    Using a pen or pencil (please do not use red ink or highlighter), completely darken the oval(s) next to your choice.
  • Over Voting
    If you mark voting positions next to the names of more candidates than can be elected to any single office, your vote for that office will not be counted.
  • Write-in Votes
    If you wish to vote for any person whose name is not printed on the ballot, write the name of that person in the appropriate blank space and completely fill in the oval next to the name you have written. If you do not fill in the oval opposite the name you have written on the ballot, your write-in vote cannot be counted. Marking the voting position without writing a name will not spoil the rest of your ballot.
  • No Extra Marks
    Please do not put any marks on the ballot other than your voting mark or writing a person's name as described above.

Voting with Assistance:

  • Voters who are blind, cannot read, or because of any other physical disability are unable to mark their own ballots may have the assistance of any other person the voter chooses.
  • Exception: Federal law prohibits assistance by the voter's employer, employers agent, or an officer or agent of the voter's union.

If Voting on Election Day at Polling Place:

  1. After completing your ballot, take ballot to the optical scan machine.
  2. Insert ballot into machine.
  3. A successful ballot will be accepted by the machine.
  4. If there is a problem with your ballot, it will be ejected. An election official will assist you.
  5. [ More about Election Day ]

If Voting Early in Person (Satellite Location):

  1. After marking your ballot, place the ballot in the secrecy envelope.  Next, place the secrecy envelope into the return envelope and seal it.  Finally, sign the voter's oath on the envelope.
  2. Give the envelope to the election official or deposit in the satellite location locked box.
  3. Your ballot will remained sealed until Election Day at which time the envelope will be opened, and the ballot scanned and counted.
  4. [ More about Early Voting ]

If Voting Early by Mail (Absentee Ballot):

  1. After marking your ballot, place the ballot in the secrecy envelope.  If the ballot was folded, fold it exactly as it was folded before.  Next, place the secrecy envelope into the return envelope and seal it.  Finally, sign the voter's oath on the back of the return envelope.
  2. The return carrier envelope must be postmarked no later than the day before the election. Ballots must be received by the county commissioner by 9 a.m. the Monday following the election in order to be counted.  Alternatively, the return envelope can be hand delivered to the Auditor's Office on or before Election Day before the close of hte polls, 9:00 p.m. in general and primary elections and 8:00 p.m. in all other elections.
  3. Return postage has already been provided. No additional postage is required.
  4. The absentee ballot must be returned to the commissioner regardless of whether you voted or not.
  5. Your ballot will remained sealed until Election Day at which time the envelope will be opened, and the ballot scanned and counted.
  6. [ More about Early Voting ]

Information prepared by Scott County Auditor & Commissioner of Elections.

News & Notices

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Posted: June 5, 2018
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