How do I run for office?

General Information on Running for Office

File an Affidavit of Candidacy to run for office in Iowa. You also have to collect signatures from other people on nomination petitions for most offices. You can only turn in this paperwork during certain periods of time before each election.

Turn in candidate paperwork to the following places to run for office:
If you want to run for...File paperwork with...
Federal or State OfficeSecretary of State's Office
County or City OfficeLinn County Auditor's Office
School BoardSchool Board Secretary
Community College BoardCommunity College Board Secretary

You also need to file Campaign Finance paperwork if you raise or spend money campaigning. If you want to put up signs, you need to follow certain rules and laws. If you need maps, voter lists, or other information to help with your campaign, there are forms to fill out to get the information and laws about how you can use it. You can find more information for each step below.

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Filing timelines for 2020 Elections

You must file Nomination papers with the correct office during the filing period. You cannot file papers before the filing period begins nor after the filing period ends.

The following elections will be held in 2020: 

2020 Primary Elections – County Offices File with the County Auditor

First Day: Monday, March 2, 2020
Last Day: Wednesday, March 25, 2020 (5 p.m.) 

2020 General Election – County and Township Offices File with the County Auditor

Filing Period for County Offices: (This includes County Non-Partisan Candidates, Nominated by Petition Candidates, Township Offices and Soil & Water Commission Board)

First Day: Monday, March 2, 2020
Last Day: Friday, March 20, 2020 (5 p.m.)

Filing Period for Agricultural Extension Office

Last Day: Wednesday, August 26, 2020 (5 p.m.)

How do I start a public measure?

There is a limit on what kinds of public measures can be put on a ballot in most cities in Iowa. Some measures can only be requested by petition, and some can only be called by the governing body.

Turn in paperwork to the following places to request a public measure election:
If you have a petition for...File paperwork with...
County public measuresBoard of Supervisors (for most measures)
City public measures
City Clerk
School public measuresSchool Board Secretary
Community College public measuresCommunity College Board Secretary

Call the Auditor's Office (319-892-5300) if you don't know if a public measure can be put on a ballot or not.