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The county has a variety of elections in a four-year cycle. Those elections are: Primary Elections: These elections take place on even number years and the election is countywide. In the state of Iowa, the Primary Elections are “closed primaries” which means a voter wishing to participate will need to declare a party to vote the party’s primary ballot. Typically, there is only the Democratic and Republican Party ballots for the Primary Elections. There have been Primary Elections where additional parties have been added. General Elections: General Elections are held on even number years and the election is countywide. There are two types of General Elections, Presidential General Elections and Gubernatorial Elections. Presidential General Elections are held to elect the President of the United States on the first Tuesday followed by the first Monday in November every four years (2004, 2008 for example). Gubernatorial Elections are held to elect the Governor of Iowa in on the first Tuesday followed by the first Monday in November every four years (2006, 2010 for example). It is common for other Federal, State and County Offices, Township positions, a Judicial Ballot and public measures to be on the General Election ballot. City/School Elections: City/School elections are held in November during odd number years. Depending on the city and the form city government, positions on the city election ballot will vary. Registered voters who reside in the city are allowed to participate in this election. Registered voters who reside in the school district are allowed to participate in this election. Special Elections: Special Elections can be held on specific dates set by the Iowa Secretary of State during a calendar year. Special elections can be used to fill vacancies and to vote on public measures on a State, County, City or School District level. Common special elections in Linn County are Local Option Sales and Services Tax, School Bond and Revenue Purpose Statements and to fill vacancies.
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Your residential address determines what ballot you will receive. You may find your sample ballot by using our Elections Look-up Tool. The Linn County Election Services office has the sample ballots set up in this manner so the data is easy to find and less confusing for our users. Sample ballot styles can vary in number by the complexity of the election.
Your polling place is determined by your residential address. You may find your polling place by using our Elections Look-up Tool.
Ballots are secret and voters have the right to vote for any candidate they want.
The only time that party affiliation is important in terms of voting is in the case of a political party caucus or a primary election. In those cases, voters must be registered with the political party whose caucus or primary they wish to participate in. Voters have the right to change their affiliation and then participate in the caucus or primary election on, or prior to, the day those events are being held. Voters can only participate in one party's caucus or primary election each time those events take place.
An individual may register and vote on Election Day at his/her correct polling place.
Find your polling place online at www.linncountyelections.org/lookup. Election Day Registration Information
No. Individuals wanting to use the Election Day Registration process must vote immediately at the time of registration.
The parties participating in the caucus are responsible for setting locations, staff and materials.
The Elections Office is simply the custodian of paperwork received from the political parties.