Any registered voter in Iowa may request to vote their ballot absentee. Absentee is the term used to describe any ballot that is not voted at the polls on Election Day.
There are several ways to vote absentee:
- To vote absentee by mail you must complete a request form. You may contact the Auditor’s Office to request that a form be sent to you. Once completed, please return the form to the Wapello County Auditor, 101 West 4th Street, Ottumwa, IA, 52501. Printable absentee ballot request forms are also available from the Secretary of State.
- To be sent an absentee ballot by mail, the Auditor’s Office must receive your Absentee Ballot Request form by 5 pm on the Friday 11 days before the Election (10 days before a General Election)
- In-person absentee voting is available in the Auditor’s Office during regular business hours (8 am - 4:30 pm). The deadline for in-person absentee is 5 pm on the Monday before the election.
- Additionally, during General Elections absentee voting may be made available at various satellite locations in Wapello County. Please contact the Auditor’s Office to see if there are any satellite locations scheduled.
Absentee ballots returned by mail to the Auditor’s Office must be postmarked on or before the Monday immediately preceding the Election to be counted.
Instructions on how to vote your absentee ballot will be included with your ballot.
Download an Absentee Ballot Request Form
Complete the Absentee Ballot Request Form and send it to:
Wapello County Auditor
101 West 4th Street
Ottumwa, IA 52501
Track Your Absentee Ballot
You may track your absentee ballot to ensure that it has been mailed to you and that it gets returned to the Auditor's Office.
Students from Wapello County have several options when it comes to voting:
- College students may choose to keep their Wapello County address and either return home to vote in-person on Election Day, vote a Wapello County ballot by mail, or vote in-person absentee at the Auditor’s Office.
- Students may also choose to register in their new state or county and cast a ballot in that jurisdiction. Students should contact their new local election officials for more information.
Health Care Facility Residents
Under Iowa law, the County Auditor must send a bipartisan team of election officials to hand-deliver ballots to residents of health care facilities, assist in the voting of the residents, and return the ballots safely to the Auditor’s Office where they are securely stored until they are counted. Voting at health care facilities is often coordinated through the activities department at each facility so please check with the staff to obtain a ballot request form to be brought a ballot.
Voters who are admitted to a hospital or health care facility in the three days immediately prior to an election may request an absentee ballot and it will be hand-delivered to them to vote and then returned to the Auditor’s Office. Please contact the Auditor’s Office immediately if you are hospitalized and would like to vote.