Rural Matters

Rural Matters: How to Primary in Iowa

Rural Matters 011024 website

Primaries, Caucuses, and Elections are all unique. Why do we need all of these difference processes to choose our elected officials? In this week’s Rural Matters, we’re taking a look at what the upcoming primaries accomplish and what you need to know to participate! 

Before the final candidates' names from each major political party are inked onto the Nov. 5, general election ballot, candidates need to beat out challengers within their parties who also want a chance at that seat. To determine party representation on the general election ballot, primaries need to be held. If a candidate is running unopposed within their party, a primary isn’t required, and certain elected offices, like city councils and school boards also do not require primaries. 

Unlike the caucuses, and regardless of which party you’re affiliated with, the process to vote in the primary elections IN IOWA is the same for both parties. Below is a complete outline of things you’ll need to have a successful primary election experience. 

  1. Confirm Voter Registration: The Iowa Secretary of State's office manages voting registration records. Registration forms can be submitted online, by mail, or in person. You can also check the status, update, of your registration and find additional resources here.
  2. Verify Party Affiliation: Your voter registration must indicate your chosen political party, and that must match the ballot you vote in. If you haven’t registered for a party yet, show up to your polling place on Election Day with proof of identification (i.e. current and valid photo identification card with an expiration date), AND proof of residency in your voting precinct. From there, you can register for a political party and vote in the appropriate primary election. 
  3. Be Informed: Now that you’re registered to vote, get informed! Primary elections tend to have lower turnout, so your vote carries more weight. Get informed on who’s running for what seats in your district. A simple Google search of “primary election in [COUNTY NAME ]county iowa” brings up a .gov website with listed candidates. From there, you can read up on candidate webpages and news articles. 
  4. Determine Where/When: Democrat, Republican, and Independent voters all vote in the same polling place for primary elections. You can find your polling place here. All polling places will be open for in-person voting on JUNE 4, 2024, FROM 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.
  5. Follow the Results: The results of the elections will be made public throughout the night on June 4 on county websites. Another Google search of “primary election results [COUNTY NAME] county iowa” should provide updated election results.

If you have any questions, call your County Auditor's Office. If you have any questions on what agriculture topics will be on the agenda for the 2024 General Election, reach out to me at As always, at Landus we are committed to working on the topics and issues most important to YOU, our farmers, our customers, our employees, and our communities. Help us carry your voice and your priorities forward by taking a few minutes to let us know your thoughts in our survey.