Clayton County, Iowa

National Change Of Address Cards

Each year our office, as required under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 ("Motor Voter"), mails notices to voters as part of the annual National Change of Address (NCOA) program. This mailing is usually processed in March.  If you reported a change of address to the U.S. Postal service in the last year, and the voter registration address on file in our office does not match this address, we are required by law to update your address and send you an NCOA notice. Postage-paid reply cards are sent to both your old address, as indicated on our voter registration files, and your new address, as reported by the U.S. Postal Service.  This allows you to make any corrections and return the card to our office.  We are required by law to mail cards to both addresses, so you may receive two cards.  Our office also sends notices each year to voters who have shown no activity in four years.
Important Facts

NCOA only updates voter registration addresses within Clayton County.  It does not register you to vote in another county or state.

The NCOA procedure only updates your address.  It will not update any other information such as a name change, party affiliation, or phone number.  (For example, if the NCOA procedure updates your address from Elkader to Guttenberg, your old Elkader phone number remains on our files with your new Guttenberg street address - unless you change it.)  You may indicate such changes on the reply card, even though no blanks are provided.

If you return your card with any corrections, you must sign it.  If you return a card with corrections but fail to sign it, we are not allowed to make the corrections.


What if the new address as reported by the U.S. Postal Service is within Clayton County?

Your voter registration address will be updated to the address reported by the U.S. Postal Service.

If the new address is correct and within Clayton County, no further action on your part is required.  You may sign and return the card if you wish.  You will also receive a new voter card within a few weeks.  If all the information is correct, again no action on your part is needed.

If the postal address is incorrect and your correct address is within Clayton County, write down your correct address, sign the card, and return it to our office.  Your voter registration record will be updated and you will receive a new voter card.

If the postal address is incorrect and you have moved outside the county, write down your correct address, sign the card, and return it to our office.  Your Clayton County voter registration will be cancelled.  This does not register you to vote in your new community.  You will need to contact your local voter registration office to register if you have not yet done so.

What if the new address as reported by the U.S. Postal Service is outside Clayton County?

Your voter registration record will be placed on inactive status.  This is a preliminary step to cancellation of your record.

If your new address outside Clayton County is correct, you may sign and return the postage-paid card.  We can then cancel your Clayton County voter registration.  This does not register you to vote in your new community.  You will need to contact your local voter registration office to register if you have not yet done so.

If your new address outside Clayton County is incorrect, and you have moved outside Clayton County, write down your correct address, sign the card, and return it to our office.  Your Clayton County voter registration will be cancelled.  This does not register you to vote in your new community.  You will need to contact your local voter registration office to register if you have not yet done so.

If your new address outside Clayton County is incorrect, and you have not moved outside Clayton County, write down your correct address, sign the card, and return it to our office. Your Clayton County voter registration record will be returned to active status.

What do you do about Post Office Boxes and Mail Drops?

In order to register to vote, you must provide our office with a street address.  This allows us to assign you to the proper precinct.  Voters who receive their mail at a post office box or a commercial mail drop are asked to provide both a street address and a mailing address.  (The only exception is the Domestic Violence Shelter.) Voters who are homeless must specify the location to which they most often return.

If the new address as reported by the U.S. Postal Service is a post office box or mail drop within Clayton County, this information will be added to your existing voter registration record, and your physical address will not be changed.   If you have moved to a different physical address, make any needed corrections and return the signed card to our office.  If you have not physically moved, and have simply chosen to receive your mail at a mail box, no further action on your part is needed.

If the new address as reported by the U.S. Postal Service is a post office box outside Clayton County, your voter registration record will be placed on inactive status.

What if I get a card at my house for someone who no longer lives here?

You may indicate on the reply card that the person does not live at your address, sign the card, and return it to our office.  If you know the person or they are a family member, you may wish to contact the person.

What are the most common problems?

  • An address change by one family member may have been reported by the U.S. Postal Service as a change for the whole family.
  • Two people may have the same name and address.  (John Doe Sr., John Doe Jr.)
  • People who maintain a winter residence outside Iowa and have reported a long-term address change to the Postal Service often receive NCOA notices.
  • Cards or other voter registration materials that are returned without signatures cannot be processed.

These problems can be fixed by returning a corrected, signed card to our office.

End List

Please contact our office at (563) 245-1106 with any questions.

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