Can I pick up or request a ballot for someone else?
No. In Iowa you can only request an absentee ballot for yourself.
Can I request an absentee ballot by email or fax?
Yes. You may request an absentee ballot via email or fax and a ballot will be mailed to you. However, in order for your ballot to be counted you must also mail in or drop off the original paper ballot request.
Can I use power of attorney to request a ballot for my spouse, child or parent?
No. Under Iowa law, power of attorney does not apply for all election related matters.
Can someone else return my absentee ballot for me?
The only people who may return a ballot for a voter are:
- someone living in the voter’s household
- an immediate family member
- a special precinct election official delivering a ballot for health care residents
- a delivery agent, in the case of a voter unable to return a ballot due to blindness or other disability
Do I need to sign the return envelope of my absentee ballot?
Yes! Your absentee ballot cannot be counted unless you have signed the affidavit envelope that you return your ballot in. If we receive a ballot back that has not been signed we will attempt to contact you to get this fixed. Once contacted, you may decide to either:
- Request a replacement ballot and return it by 8:00 p.m. on election day
- Vote at the polls on election day
- Sign the affidavit in person at the county auditor’s office by 8:00 p.m. on election day
Do absentee ballots even get counted?
Yes. There is a myth that absentee ballots only get counted if the election is close, however, this is not true. Under Iowa law, every ballot must be counted.
What is the last day I can turn in my absentee ballot?
You are allowed to hand deliver your ballot to the Auditor’s office up until the time the polls close on Election Day. If you return your ballot through the mail, your ballot must arrive by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, with exceptions for individuals in the Safe at Home program and military/overseas citizens. Learn more on our Absentee Voting page.
Can I get help marking my ballot?
Yes. If you need assistance filling out your ballot ask a poll worker for help. A team of one republican and one democrat will come over and help you mark your ballot. Also available in each polling location is a ballot marking device that will read you all of the choices and then print out your marked ballot.
Can I register to vote on Election Day?
Yes. Iowa law allows for Election Day registration if you are able to provide proof of identification (i.e. valid photo ID) and proof of residency (i.e. utility bill with your name on it if your ID has an outdated address on it). If you are unable to provide one or both of these you are allowed to bring someone with you to attest that you have the right to vote.
Can I take my absentee ballot to the polls on Election Day and vote there?
Yes. If you have not returned your absentee ballot you may go to your polling place on Election Day and vote a regular ballot.
Do I need to show ID to vote?
Beginning January 1, 2019, Iowa voters will be required to show a driver’s license, non-driver’s ID, passport, military ID, veterans ID, Tribal ID or Voter ID Card at the polls before they vote. Voters, starting in 2019, without an ID may cast a provisional ballot or have another registered voter attest to their identity.
I am already registered but my information needs updated; can I do that on Election Day?
Yes. While it is recommended that you update your information prior to Election Day to speed things up at the polls, you may wait and do so on Election Day. If you are updating your address just make sure you are going to the polling place for your new address. When updating your address you will now need to provide proof of identity and proof of residency.
I can't get out of my car; can someone bring me a ballot to vote from there?
Yes. If you are unable to go inside the polling place a team of election workers will be sent out to your car to help you vote.
I lost my absentee ballot; can I just go vote on Election Day?
Yes. When you go to vote, a poll worker will verify with the auditor’s office that your absentee ballot has not been returned. If it is confirmed that the auditor’s office has not received a ballot from you then you will be given a new ballot to vote there.
What do I need to bring with me to vote?
Starting in January of 2019 you will be required to show identification. If you need to register to vote on Election Day, you must bring proof of identification and proof of residency.
What if I lost my ID or forgot to take one with me to the polls?
Starting in 2019, if you do not have your ID with you, you may either cast a provisional ballot or have another registered voter attest to your identity. Learn more about provisional ballots and attesting on our Voter ID page.
What if I'm still waiting in line when the polls close?
So long as you are in line to vote at the time the polls close you will be allowed to vote.
What is a provisional ballot?
If a voter’s eligibility is in question on Election Day they are allowed to cast a provisional ballot. After the voter marks their ballot and returns it to the poll worker, the voter is required to provide the necessary identification or documentation at the polling place before it closes or provide it at the Auditor’s Office by noon on the following Monday. If the canvass will be held earlier than the following Monday, the identification must be provided before the canvass.
If it is determined that you do have the right to vote in the precinct in which you voted, your ballot will then be counted and included in the final vote total.
Can I get a new ballot if I make a mistake or lose my ballot?
Yes. If you make a mistake on an absentee ballot mark your return envelope “Spoiled” and return it to the Auditor’s office either by mail or in person. If you return it by mail contact the Auditor’s office to be sent a new one.
On Election Day if you make a mistake on your ballot, return it to the poll worker to receive a new one. You are allowed up to three ballots so don’t make too many mistakes!
Can I vote for someone that is not on the ballot?
Yes. For each race on the ballot, a line is provided for you to write-in the name of someone for whom you wish to vote for. Make sure you color in the oval!
Can an independent vote in a primary election?
Yes and No. In Iowa, you must be a member of a political party (in 2020: Republican and Democrat) to vote in a primary election. However, anyone* can change parties on Election Day and vote. For independents to vote they must declare a political party.
*Precinct election officials may not change political parties within 30 days of an election.
Do I have to vote for everything on the ballot?
No. You can vote for as much or as little as you would like; it’s all up to you!
If I change my mind on who I want to vote for after I have returned my ballot, can I get a new one?
No. If you have already returned your absentee ballot to the Auditor’s office you may not request a new ballot if you have changed your mind on who you wish to vote for.
If I chose a party do I have to vote for all of their candidates?
It depends on the election. In primary elections, you can only vote for candidates from the party to which you belong. In general elections, you are free to vote for anyone you like, regardless of their party affiliation.
What if I don't have an ID?
Registered voters who do not have an Iowa driver’s license or non-operator’s ID were issued a voter ID card. Voter ID cards must be signed before going to the polls. The new voter ID card will contain a PIN number that will be used for voting purposes. If you should have a voter ID card and do not, please contact our office to have one sent to you.
What is Voter ID?
Starting in 2019, voters must provide an ID when going to vote. Voters who do not have ID will be allowed to either cast a provisional ballot or have another registered voter attest to their identification. Learn more about provisional ballots and attesting on our Voter ID page.
There are 6 approved types of identification that may be used:
- an Iowa Driver’s License or Non-Operator ID
- a Voter ID issued by the Secretary of State or the Auditor’s Office
- a current US Passport
- a US Military ID
- a US Veteran’s ID
- a Tribal ID
Where do I vote?
Where you vote is determined by where you live and you must vote in the precinct to which you are assigned for your ballot to be counted. To find your polling place please visit the Polling Places page on our website.
Can I update my voter registration over the phone?
No. All updates to voter registration must be made in writing or online through the Iowa DOT if you have an Iowa driver’s license.
Can a homeless person register to vote?
Yes. Any eligible voter in Iowa may register to vote. Because many of those who are homeless have a nontraditional address they just need to provide an address or description of where they sleep the most, wherever that may be.
Can someone with a previous felony conviction vote?
Those with a prior felony conviction are only permitted to vote if their voting rights have been restored by the Governor, including through Executive Order. For more information about restoration of rights, contact the Governor’s office or visit the voter registration page on our website.
Do I have to register to vote for every election?
No. You would only need to re-register if your information has changed and you need to update it.
How do I update my address?
If you have moved recently and need to update your address for voting, all you have to do is fill out a new voter registration form and submit it to the Auditor’s office. If you do not update your address after a move through a new voter registration form and do not vote in the next general election, you will be marked inactive (inactive voters may still vote with proper ID). Registration will be canceled if two more general elections pass with no voter activity.
I just registered and received a card in the mail but there is a mistake on it; what do I do now?
If you notice a mistake on your voter card please contact the Auditor’s Office and/or submit a new registration form to correct your information.
I registered as an independent; why does my card say "NP" or "No Party"?
Iowa does not recognize an “independent” party. Instead, “No Party” is used to indicate a lack of affiliation with a political party.
Engineering & Secondary Roads
How do I get a new driveway?
Please contact our office at (641) 774-4013 x6.
How do I get dust control by my property?
Contact our office at (641) 774-4013 x6 for approved supplier names and numbers and our dust control policy and permit application.
Do I have to own the property where I am placing dust control?
You do not have to own the property. But you do need to notify the property owner of the location where dust control is being placed.
Where do I get the flags to mark my dust control?
Flags are supplied by your dust control provider or can be obtained in the Engineering & Secondary Roads office in the basement of the courthouse. You are responsible for keeping the flags visible so the road grader does not grade your dust control.
Why does it take so long to clear gravel roads when it snows?
Restoring access on gravel roads is a slow process since motor graders are not built for speed, and a typical route covers between 60 and 80 miles (or 120 and 160 lane miles) of roads that need to be cleared. If windy conditions result in having to use the V-plows to get through snow drifts, even slower progress will be made. Sometimes after a severe storm, it is not possible to reach all homes until the second or third day. Continued windy conditions can result in a road blowing shut after it is opened. Home owners are encouraged to plan accordingly for the winter season.
Why does my driveway keep getting plowed shut?
Unfortunately, this is due to the continuous operation of the plow. It is necessary for the operator to push snow without stopping in order to efficiently remove the snow and complete the route in a timely manner. If we pause to clear each driveway, both momentum and time are lost. Generally, the snow is pushed to the south and east so that the removed snow windrow will not act as a snow fence and cause drifting across the roadway with the prevailing northerly and westerly winds.
The plow knocked down my mailbox. Will the County replace it?
During wet snows, the plowing operations will often cast snow across the shoulder, which can break the weaker mailbox supports. Contact the Engineering & Secondary Roads office at (641) 774-4013 x6 to report damage. Repairs or replacements will be made in a timely manner if the damage is the fault of the county.
I've seen plow trucks on the road that sometimes aren't spreading salt. Why don't they since they're there anyway?
Salt does not melt ice, but it does lower the freezing temperature of water. This works down to a temperature of approximately 20 degrees. At a critical temperature of or about 20 degrees, applying salt to roads packed with snow or ice may create worse problems by causing the snow or ice to "glaze" or form a slick, shiny surface. Also, during windy storms, snow will often blow off a bare road, whereas salt will sometimes cause the snow to begin to stick. We monitor the forecast and current temperatures to determine the most efficient use of our salt.
How can I contact the Engineering & Secondary Roads department?
You can reach us at (641) 774-4013 x6 during business hours of Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. The office is closed on county holidays.
Who do I contact in case of an emergency?
Emergencies (where loss of life is probable, or where a serious injury has occurred, or where extensive loss of property is imminent) should be reported to the 911 dispatcher.
How do I get my birth certificate?
To obtain a copy of your birth certificate, you can make an appointment to come in person or apply by mail. We should have your record if you were born in Lucas County, your parents were married at the time of your birth and you were not adopted. We also have single-parent birth's after July of 1995 through the present day.
We may not have your birth certificate if you were born in the years 1921 through 1941. If you apply in person, you will need to fill out an application, bring your photo I.D., and $15.00 cash/check. If you apply by mail, complete and sign* the Vital Record Application. Please enclose the $15.00 fee in the form of cash, check, or money order. Once we receive your request, we’ll mail it out the following business day.
*All signatures must be notarized. If the request is by mail, the applicant must sign in front of a Notary Public and include a clear photocopy of the applicant's current government-issued photo identification.
I was not born in Lucas County. How can I get a copy of my birth certificate?
The Iowa Department of Public Health has birth certificates for all Iowa births. Their phone number is 515-281-4944. For births outside of Iowa, you will need to contact the vital records department in the state of your birth or visit the National Center for Health Statistics website.
What's the difference between a certified copy and an uncertified copy?
A certified copy has what most refer to as a “raised seal” and states that the copy is a true and correct reproduction of the original record. An uncertified copy or a “plain” copy has no seal or verbiage indicating authenticity. An uncertified copy also has a stamp noting “not for legal purposes.”
Do you have property abstracts on file?
No. Abstracts are not filed in our office.
Does your office handle Divorce Records?
No. The Lucas County Clerk of Court can help you with divorce records. You may contact them at 641-774-4421.
How do I add or take somebody off the title of my property?
You can file a deed in our office. We do not have blank forms available in our office. Most people have an attorney create one. All documents recorded must meet Iowa document formatting standards.
What are your hours of business?
- Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday
- When applying for a marriage license, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
What forms of payment do you accept?
- Money order
- Credit cards
Where are you located?
Lucas County Courthouse
916 Braden Ave
Chariton, IA 50049
Who can get a copy of a Military Record?
Veterans and next-of-kin of deceased veterans have full access to the record. Next-of-kin includes the un-remarried widow or widower, son or daughter, father or mother, brother or sister of the deceased veteran. For more information, please contact our Veterans Affairs Department at 641-774-4611.
Can a marriage license be applied for in Lucas County if the marriage ceremony is to take place in a different county?
Yes, the license is valid in any county in the state of Iowa. It is not valid outside of Iowa.
Can we change our names through marriage?
Yes, marriage provides the opportunity to legally change your name. Because of this, it is important to complete the application correctly and in full. Do not use initials or nicknames unless you wish them to become your legal name.
Do we need a blood test to get married?
What is the legal waiting period for remarrying after a divorce?
None. A marriage can take place at any time once a divorce is final. However, you may not apply for the marriage license until the divorce is final.