Election Day: Where, how to vote


Gelase Magnificat

Citizens participate in early voting in the UNI-Dome, which was held Oct. 6-10. Nov. 3 is Election Day and UNI campus community members still have several options to cast their ballots in the 20202 election.


Are you ready to vote?

The 2020 general election is tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 3, and numerous federal, state and local races will be decided.

This year’s election has not been so much a “day” as a season, since the COVID-19 pandemic has led many citizens to vote early in an effort to avoid crowded polling places tomorrow. According to the New York Times on Oct. 31, more than 90 million Americans had already cast their ballots through absentee, early or mail-in voting.

That number represents almost two-thirds of the 136.5 million total ballots cast in the 2016 presidential election, according to CNN. In some states, such as Texas and Hawaii, early voting numbers have already surpassed total voter turnout from 2016. 

Despite the historic number of early voters, it’s still not too late to cast your ballot if you’ve not already done so. For members of the campus community planning to vote tomorrow, the Northern Iowan has gathered the information you need to help you cast your vote easily.

(Note: this information applies only to Black Hawk County. Students choosing to vote in their home counties, whether via absentee or in-person voting, should consult their county website.)


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some polling places have changed. To find your polling place, visit https://www.blackhawkcounty.iowa.gov/190/Elections and click “Find Your Voting Location” in the blue menu on the left-hand side. A portal will pop up where you can enter your address and follow the instructions to find your voting precinct and polling location.

However, this does not indicate whether you are registered to vote. To find out whether you are registered, contact the Black Hawk County Election Office. If you’re not yet registered, don’t worry — citizens are able to register at the polls on Election Day.


All Iowa voters must provide an approved form of identification at the polling place, such as a voter identification card, driver’s license, non-operator ID, passport, military/veteran ID or tribal ID.

For voters who are not registered or who need to change precincts, you’ll also need proof of residence, such as a residential lease, utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, other government document or property tax statement.

According to a press release from Black Hawk County Auditor Grant Vedeer, citizens who can’t present an approved ID may have their identity attested to by another registered voter in the precinct. For more information about voter ID, visit http://sos.iowa.gov/voterid.


Although it’s now too late to request an absentee ballot, UNI students and campus community members with absentee ballots still have time to submit them.

Voters wanting to return an absentee ballot by mail must ensure it is postmarked by today, Monday, Nov. 2, to guarantee it will be counted. However, according to the Black Hawk County website, even if the ballot is postmarked on time, it must also be received in the Election Office by the receipt deadline of noon, Monday, Nov. 9 in order to be counted.

If you still need to turn in an absentee ballot, the best way to ensure it will reach the Election Office in time is to hand-deliver it to the Black Hawk County Courthouse (316 E 5th St., Waterloo, IA 50703) before 9 p.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 3. Ballots may be delivered to the Election Office in Room 210 or simply placed in the drop box by the entrance to the courthouse.

For other voting-related questions, contact the county Election Office at 319-833-3007 or [email protected].

The polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. tomorrow, so if you haven’t already done so, get out and vote to make sure your voice is heard!