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Everything you need to know about Election Day 2021

Who is running for what? Where and when can I vote? Find out what central Iowa voters need to know as they head to the polls Tuesday.

DES MOINES, Iowa — You can find live election results at weareiowa.com/elections, by texting RESULTS to 515-457-1026 or by downloading the We Are Iowa app

We will also be posting results on our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube pages.

It is an off year for national elections, but voters across Iowa will choose city council, school board members and other local office holders on Tuesday, Nov. 2. 

"Here in Polk County, we're expecting a heavier turnout for a city-school election. As you know, the first time they combined them was in 2019. We saw a big uptick," Polk County Auditor Jamie Fitzgerald said. "So depending on where you live and how many candidates are running and how contentious that election got, we are expecting a heavier turnout than usual."

Here's everything you need to know about voting in central Iowa this Election Day.

WATCH: Full interview with Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate on how votes are tallied, off-year voter turnout and when you can expect results

When are the polls open?

Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

Where do I vote?

Use this tool from the Iowa Secretary of State's website to find your polling place based on your zip code.

Once you put in your address, the polling place and precinct name will show up.

Am I registered to vote?

You can check your voter registration status here.

You will need to enter your first name, last name and zip code. This will will also show your polling place/precinct name.

How do I register to vote?

You can register to vote online here. You will need to put in your name, date of birth, the last five digits of your social security number and your Iowa driver's license or ID card number.

You can also register to vote on Election Day at your polling place. You will need proof of ID, proof of residence (if your current address is different than what's listed on your ID, you can bring in a paper or electronic document that was issued in the past 45 days and has your name and current address).

You can also download a voter registration form and return it to your county auditor's office.

If you cannot prove your identity and address in either of those ways, a registered voter from your precinct can attest for you. Both parties must sign an oath swearing the statement made is true.

Find more information on voter registration at the Secretary of State's website.

What form of ID do I need?

Valid forms of ID include: Iowa driver’s license or non-operator ID, U.S. passport, U.S. military ID or veteran’s ID, tribal ID/document or Iowa voter ID card.

What if I don't have an ID?

If you are registered to vote but do not have an Iowa ID, you will automatically be mailed a voter ID card for free, according to the Secretary of State.

What's the deadline for absentee voting?

The deadline has passed to request an absentee ballot, but if you already requested one, it must be received by your county auditor by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Ballots received after that deadline will not be counted, regardless of when they were postmarked.

How do I turn in my absentee ballot?

If you have not already mailed the ballot to your county auditor's office, you can deliver it in person at that office. You cannot cast an absentee ballot at your normal polling place.

The only people who can return a voted absentee ballot other than the voter are: an immediate family member, someone living in the voter's household, a caretaker, or precinct officials who deliver the ballot to residents at health care facilities. In some cases, a "delivery agent" may be approved for voters with disabilities.

Absentee ballots returned in person must be submitted before the closing of polls Tuesday night.

If you mess up on your absentee ballot before turning it in, you can simply surrender that ballot at your polling place and vote in person. If you don't turn it in before Election Day, you can also cancel your vote at your polling place by canceling your absentee ballot.

But if you have already mailed it in or dropped it off, you cannot vote again.

How do I track my absentee ballot?

You can track your absentee ballot through the Iowa Secretary of State's office here.

What races are on my ballot?


City Council (3 seats up)

Council member at large: Scott H. Henry, Scott Duer, Jeremy Boka, Josh Dunwoody



John Haila

City Council 

Council member at large: Amber Corrier, Awein Majak 

Council member Ward 1: Gloria Betcher

Council member Ward 3: Anita Rollins 

Ames Community School Board (3 seats up) 

William Scott Dryer, Tom Purl, Rolf Duvick, Amy Erica Smith, Kira Werstein, Kelly Winfrey, Brett Becker



Michael Moore, Mark Holm 

City Council (2 seats up) 

Council member at large: Kelly Whiting, Bill Lu, Nathan Willard, Joe Ruddy 

School District (3 seats up) 

Shelly Northway, Sarah Barthole, Christian Mathew Holtz, Lori Bullock, Joy Burk, Lori Lovstad, Trent Murphy



Doug Elrod, Wes Enos 

City Council (2 seats up) 

Council member at large: Robert Peffer, Matt Sillanpaa 

School Board (2 seats up) 

Cally Edelen, Garry Lenhart, Grant Pinkley, Kristin Swift



John Edwards 

City Council (2 seats up) 

Council member at large: Mike McCoy, Eric Klein, Hope Johnson

Des Moines

City Council

Council member at large: Connie Boesen, Justyn Lewis 

Council Member Ward 1: Indira Dixon Sheumaker, Bill Gray, Marcus Coenen 

Council Member Ward 3: Cory McAnelly, Josh Mandelbaum, Brandi Webber 

WATCH: Full interviews with Des Moines City Council candidates

RELATED: Sitting down with Des Moines City Council at-large candidates | 'This Week in Iowa'

School Board (2 seats up)

At large: Jackie Norris, Maria Alonzo-Diaz, Lloyd Elam 

District 1: Shelley Skuster, Kim Martorano

District 2: Jenna Knox 



Paula Dierenfeld

City Council (2 seats up) 

Council member at large: Rhonda Martin, Adam Haar, James Evans

Johnston Community School District (3 seats up) 

Deb Davis, Jeanie Kerber, Lya Williams, Clint Evans, Derek Tidball, Justin Allen, Tiara Mays 

Polk County

Water and Land Legacy Bond

The last question on Polk County voters' ballots will ask voters if the county should issue up to $65 million in bonds for things like water trails, hiking, fishing and flood prevention projects.

The bond would cost taxpayers around $11 extra in property taxes each year. That money would not be used for salaries, just parks, trails and other recreational projects.

WATCH: Polk County Water and Land Legacy Bond ballot question, explained

Southeast Polk 

School Board (3 seats up) 

Whitney Smith McIntosh, Brigid Ernst, John Ruddy, Adam Krell, Ric Powell, William Kunze



Robert Andeweg

City Council (2 seats up) 

Council member at large: Amy Croll, John Bouslog, Larry McBurney 

Urbandale Community School District (3 seats up) 

Tami Biggerstaff, Jenny Meade, Jason Menke, Steve Avis, Kevin Johnson, Daniel Gutmann, Rachel Kent, Heath Hinkhouse 


City Council (3 at-large city council members up) 

Michael Kern, Ben Sinclair, Charlie Bottenberg, Anna Bergman Pierce

Waukee Community School District (3 seats up) 

Armel Traore Dit Nignan, Vin Thaker, Andrea Lawrence, Jeff Rubino, Jaime Secory, Lori Lyon, Morgan Hughes, Michael Schrodt 

RELATED: Books temporarily removed from Waukee Northwest High School after complaint at school board meeting

West Des Moines


Russ Trimble 

City Council 

Council member at large: Renee Hardman

Council member Ward 1: Kevin Trevillyan

Council member Ward 3: Doug Loots 

School Board (3 seats up) 

Mark Brown, Aaron Sewell, Anadelia Morgan, Lila Starr, Will Jess, Kacy Schwartz, Fannette Elliott 

Windsor Heights


Dave Burgess, Mike Jones 

City Council (3 seats up) 

Council member at large: Lauren Campbell, Joseph Jones

RELATED: Here are the major changes you should know as early voting in Iowa begins

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