Clayton County, Iowa

Residency

What does "Residence Address" mean?

Your residence is where your home or living quarters is located, and, to which, whenever you are absent, you intend to return - except if you are away from Iowa because of federal or state government employment, including military service. Leaving for temporary purposes, such as school attendance, does not result in a change of residence for voting purposes, unless you register there.

Why is the residence address so important?

It is important because your polling place and elected representatives are determined by your residence address. In order for you to receive the correct ballot on Election Day, your registration must have your residence address.

Can I put down my post office box as my address?

No, the address must be the complete street address of your residence.  The only exception is the Domestic Violence shelter.  If you have a post office or mail drop box, put this on your registration in addition to your street address.

Can I choose which address to use for registering?

You must register where you live. If you live at different places at different times of the year, you can register at only one address.  If you are a student living at school, you must decide whether to register at your parent's home address or at your school address (but not both!)

More information on voting for college students (Iowa Secretary of State)

Persons who go south for the winter must decide whether to register in Iowa or in the other state.

You cannot register at a business address or at a property that you own but do not live in. You can only register at a former address if you are in the military or living outside the country.

How do I become an Iowa resident?

As far as voter registration is concerned, if you live in Iowa and intend for this to be your legal residence, you are an Iowa resident.

I'm serving in the military. What is my voting residence?

The place where you resided when you first entered the service is your voting residence, unless you later establish a voting residence elsewhere.

I'm a U.S. citizen living outside the country.  Can I still vote?

Yes.  You may continue to vote using the last permanent address you used before leaving the country.

Can a homeless person register and vote?

Yes.  If you are staying at the Shelter House, you may use that address.  If you are on the street, you may use a street corner or location to which you frequently return.  However, you must specify some address or location so that we can place you in a precinct.

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