In some cases, political parties and/or candidates may need to obtain signatures via the petition process with relation to ballot access. This section outlines the laws and regulations pertaining to petitions and circulators.
In Iowa, most candidates are required to file nominating petitions with the Iowa Secretary of State. Any eligible elector may sign a candidate's nominating petition. Eligible electors do not have to be registered to vote, but they do need to be U.S. citizens, Iowa residents, and 18 years old or older. Eligible electors cannot be judged incompetent to vote in a court of law, claim the right to vote anywhere else or be convicted felons, unless a president or governor has reinstated their voting rights.
There is no limit to the number of nominating petitions an eligible elector may sign for different candidates. When signing a nominating petition, eligible electors must include their address with their signature. P.O. Box addresses will not be counted.
There is no start date for collecting signatures on nominating petitions. They may be collected at any time; however, those who sign the petition must still be considered eligible electors when the petition is filed, and it must be filed by 5 p.m. 81 days before the election. Candidates may sign their own nominating petitions as long as they are considered eligible electors in the district they are seeking to represent.The state code does not establish circulator requirements. Specifically, there are no residency requirements for circulators.