Election Types

  1. City Election

    City elections are held during odd-numbered years to elect a variety of positions including: mayors, city council members, hospital trustees, park board members, and treasurers. Public measures are often included on the ballot. The number of council members and length of terms varies by city.

  2. General Election

    General elections have the most offices and issues on the ballot and usually generate more interest and higher turnout than any other elections.

  3. Party Caucuses

    The Iowa presidential caucuses are conducted by the political parties and not by our office. You must be registered to vote to participate in the caucuses, but you may register or change your registration at the caucus site.

  4. 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 two groups with full political party status: the Democratic and Republican parties.

  5. School Election

    School elections are held in September to elect school board members and community college directors. Instructional support levy measures are often included in school elections. School board elections used to be held every year. School elections cannot be combined with any other type of election. Many voters have a different polling place for school elections than for all other elections.

  6. Special Election

    Special elections may occur for a number of different reasons: local option sales tax, to fill vacancies, bond issues, physical plant/equipment levy, consider constitutional amendments, utility franchise, etc.