Iowa Resources for Voters with Disabilities

U.S. Vote Foundation's Iowa Voters with Disabilities Guide provides valuable resources including information on accessible voting options, voter rights, and guidance on the voting process. This essential Iowa guide empowers individuals to exercise their right to vote in a private, independent, and accessible way.

What are my rights as a voter with a disability in Iowa?

In Iowa, you have the right to the following as protected by federal law. Election staff must respect these rights:

  • Accessible voter registration
  • Accessible polling places
  • Policies and procedures that do not discriminate against you based on your disability
  • Accessible, available, and operational voting systems, features
  • Your service animal to accompany you inside the polling place
  • The right to vote privately and independently or with assistance, if needed
  • Assistance from a person of choice, who can be a friend, family member, or poll worker (but not your boss, union agent, or a candidate unless this person is your family member)
  • Election Staff trained to understand the rights above.


Federal law requires assistance in registering to vote from offices that provide public assistance or state-funded programs serving people with disabilities. Responsibilities include:

  • Providing voter registration forms
  • Assisting voters in completing the forms
  • Transmitting completed forms to the appropriate election official
  • All aspects of voter registration must be accessible 
What are the rules of assistance for disabled voters in Iowa?
  • You may request assistance from a poll worker or receive assistance from a person of your choice (at home or at the polling location) with the following exceptions:  
    • your employer, an agent of your employer
    • an officer or agent of your union
    • a candidate on the ballot
  • You will be asked to sign a form showing you asked for help.
  • If you are not physically able to sign the forms, you can use a rubber stamp or mark to sign. You may also ask for assistance or have someone sign the form on your behalf as long as it is in your presence and with your permission.
  • A poll worker cannot force you to accept assistance.
How is the Iowa mail-in or absentee ballot process made accessible for voters with print disabilities?

If you have a vision impairment, you can call 888-SOS-VOTE (888-767-8683) or email to receive accessible information and services.

What accommodations are available for voters with disabilities at polling locations in Iowa? law requires polling places to meet minimum compliance standards for individuals with special needs.   If you want to check that your polling location meets these standards or find an alternative polling location, contact your local election official.

Curbside voting is available if you are unable to leave your vehicle or enter the polling location. 

  • After showing a valid form of ID, Registrars of Voters from both parties will bring you a ballot and a privacy sleeve. 
  • You must mark the ballot in front of them, but they must stand in a way that will not violate your right to a private vote.
  • It is advised to call ahead of time to notify them that you will be voting curbside.

An accessible ballot marking device is available at all polling places.  

  • Voters use features on the AutoMARK or OVI such as a touch screen, an audio component, and/or a sip and puff element to select their candidates.
  • The device will then complete the ovals on the ballot. It also lets voters review and change their vote before the ballot is marked.
How can I prepare to use accessible voting equipment in Iowa prior to Election Day?

Iowa uses four accessible voting machines and offers video tutorials for each of the voting machines used in the state:

Who do I contact if I have problems when voting in Iowa?

Contact Disability Rights Iowa if you have an issue related to your disability while voting

  • Call 515-278-2502 or 800-779-2502
  • Relay 711
  • Fax 515-278-0539
  • Physical Address: 6667 Walnut Street in Des Moines, Iowa 

You can also contact the State of Iowa's Elections Division in the following ways:

  • General Phone Number: 515-281-0145
  • Toll Free Phone Number: 1-888-SOS-VOTE (1-888-767-8683)
  • TTY: Call 711 followed by 515-281-0145
  • Fax Number: 515-281-4682
  • Email:

You can also fill out a Violation of Civil Rights Complaint Form and submit it to the US Department of Justice by one of the following methods:

  • Online, through the form’s submission process - this is the fastest method.
  • By fax at (202) 616-9881. You MUST include “ATTN: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Complaints" at the top of your fax submission for it to be processed correctly.
  • By mailing your form to: 

                 U.S. Department of Justice
                 Office of the Inspector General Investigations Division
                 ATTN: Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Complaints
                 950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
                 Washington, DC 20530

For additional assistance, The National Network of ADA Centers can provide local contact information for other organizations you may wish to contact, including your Regional ADA Center or ADA Knowledge Translation Center, or Federal Agencies and Resources.

Additional Resources

If you have a vision impairment, you can call 888-SOS-VOTE (888-767-8683) or email to receive accessible information and services.

If you have questions not answered in this guide, please contact your local election official or try the Iowa FAQs below.