Campaigning and Activities before Election Day

Can I contact voters with my campaign?

You may request lists of registered Linn County voters. The Code of Iowa, section 48A.39 says the following:

"Information about individual registrants obtained from voter registration records shall be used only to request the registrant's vote at an election, or for another genuine political purpose, or for a bona fide official purpose by an elected official, or for a bona fide political research, but shall not be used for any commercial purpose.

A person who uses registration information in violation of this section commits a serious misdemeanor."

What Does This Mean?

You can only use information from voter registration records for the following reasons:

  • To see if a person voted in a particular election (their actual vote is not recorded)
  • For political purposes such as campaigning
  • For political research such as turnout demographics
  • If you are an elected official, for a legitimate official reason

If you use the information for any other reason (including and especially for commercial reasons), it is a crime classified as a serious misdemeanor.

So How Can I Get Voter Information?

Make your request in writing. You can receive the data as a paper list, as formatted labels, or as text files on CD or via email.

Make requests at the Elections Office or by e-mail. We fill requests in the same order we receive them.

Pay for your data when you pick it up in person or pre-pay if you have it e-mailed.

We charge a minimum of $10 for all requests. The cost of requests is different depending on how you get the data and how many records and elections you request. 

Contact the Elections Office at 319-892-5300 or email us if you have questions about voter lists.

Are there any other forms that will help me?

 The Secretary of State's office has a guide on the rules about Voter Registration and Absentee Ballot Request forms. Please read the guide before using the forms below.

You may want voter registration forms if you talk to people who have moved or are not registered to vote. You do not have to get permission to give out or collect forms. If you collect registration forms, you need to turn them in as soon as possible after you collect them. Download and print off a voter registration form from the Linn County website or from the Secretary of State's website.

You can also hand out and collect Absentee Ballot Request forms for people who want to vote by mail. If you hand out and collect forms for a campaign, you need to give voters a receipt for their form. Download and print the form with the receipt from the Secretary of State's website:

Absentee Ballot Request Form with Receipt 

How do I raise money and do I have to report it if I do?

 Our office cannot give information on how to raise money. If you raise or spend more than a certain amount of money campaigning (usually $1,000), you have to file a report with the Iowa Ethics & Campaign Disclosure Board.

For more information about ethics and campaign filing responsibilities and deadlines, please contact the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board.

View a contact list at the Iowa and Ethics Campaign Disclosure Board.

Can I place campaign signs at every intersection in town?

 Probably not, but the Auditor's Office is not in charge of campaign signs. The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board is in charge of what you can put on your campaign signs. Local Planning and Zoning boards are in charge of where you can put your campaign signs.

Call the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board at 515-281-4028 if you have questions about what you can put on your campaign signs.

For questions on where you can put campaign signs:

If you live or want to put signs in...
Cedar Rapids City LimitsCedar Rapids Building & Zoning319-286-5831
Marion City LimitsCity of Marion Planning & Zoning319-743-6320
Inside Other City LimitsVaries - Call City HallDepends on City
Outside City LimitsLinn County Planning & Development319-892-5130

Read our Cedar Rapids, Marion, Linn County, and State of Iowa Sign Laws (PDF) guide for more information.