Primary Election

In a primary election, no candidates are elected.  Instead, voters who are affiliated with political parties nominate their candidates to run in the general election.  Only voters affiliated with a political party may vote, but any Iowa voter may declare or change party affiliation at any time.  Currently, Iowa has two groups with full political party status: the Democratic and Republican parties.

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*Important 2020 Polling Place Information
 ALL Clayton County Voters will vote at Central Community School, 400 N 1st Street, Elkader.



2020 Primary Election



  • February 3: First day to request mailed absentee ballots.
  •  February 24 - March 13, Federal and State candidate filing period. File with the Iowa Secretary of State. 
  • March 2 - March 25, County candidate filing period. File with the auditor's office.  Signature requirements: 90 signatures for Republicans and 60 for Democrats (2% of party vote in last general election, maximum 100)
  •  April 23: First day to mail domestic absentee ballots. (Temporary change from May 4 due to COVID-19 emergency.) 
  • May 4 - First day for in-person absentee voting at auditor's office and first day to mail domestic absentee ballots.  
  • May 22 - Voter pre-registration deadline and last day to request mailed absentee ballot, by 5 p.m. Voters are still able to register after this date using election day registration procedure.
  • May 25: Memorial Day, office closed.
  • June 1: Last day for in-person absentee voting, 7:45 AM to 5:00 PM Postmark deadline for mailed absentee ballots.
  • June 2: Election Day. Polls open 7 AM until 9 PM (All Clayton County residents will vote at Central Community School, 400 N 1st St, Elkader.)

Public Notice: Iowa Secretary of State Pate has called for a state-wide Post-Election Audit for the June 2, 2020 Primary Election. At 10:00 AM on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office will hold a random drawing to select one precinct in each county to be audited. The race to be audited will be U.S. Senator race for both the Democratic and Republican parties.

The Post-Election Audit will be performed at 1:30 PM on Thursday, June 4, 2020 at the Public Meeting Room in the Clayton County Office Building located at 600 Gunder Rd NE in Elkader, IA. (Posted: June 2, 2020)