Four Year No Activity Mailing

General Information

If you receive Four Year No Activity Card at your home for someone who doesn't live there, don't throw it away! The Secretary of State's office has mailed cards to Iowa voters who have had no activity in the last four years, and we need the public's help to keep the voter rolls up to date.

"Four Year No Activity" mailing is required by law. It is very important that you check the box that applies, make notes if needed, sign the card. Changes cannot be made unless you sign it and return it to our office. The cards are postage paid and there is no cost you.

Sample of the Four Year No Activity Card (PDF)

Iowa election laws were designed make it hard to cancel someone's voter registration without their knowledge. 

A Four Year No Activity card is not a cancellation of your voter registration. It's a double-check and a reminder about your voter registration. 

Which voters will get a card?

Cards are sent to voters who have not:

  • Voted in any election
  • Registered or re-registered to vote
  • Updated their address or any other information.

A Four Year No Activity card is returned to our office as undeliverable:

A card returned to our office as undeliverable, or returned and signed by someone saying you no longer live there, our office can then begin the cancellation process

Your voter registration record will placed on inactive status. This is the first step to cancellation.

Inactive status means our office has sent you a piece of election mail and it has been returned to our office by the post office or a third party.

If you try to vote, you will be asked to update your registration. You will then be returned to active status.

Voters inactivated in 2019 will be cancelled after the 2022 general election.

If you get a card for someone who doesn't live at your address:

Indicate on the reply card that the person does not live at your address, sign the card, and return it to our office. We can then place the person on inactive status. 

However, we cannot cancel the registration without the voter's own signature unless:

  • Receive a notice from another community that the voter has registered there
  • Receive a notice that the voter has died or been convicted of a felony
  • The voter has been on inactive status through two general elections

If the card is not returned, Iowa law requires us to assume that the person still lives there. Potentially, this record will be on the rolls for another four years. 

Political campaigns also assume the person still lives there, which leads to mailings and phone calls.

If the person is a family member or someone you know, it is best to contact them and encourage them to make contact with our office. Under Iowa law, our office is required to have a signature from the voter confirming the cancellation.

If you get a Four Year No Activity card for yourself and your address is correct:

You don't have to do anything. The card will indicate you're still registered with an active status.

If you get a Four Year No Activity card and the address is incorrect:

Check the box marked "I am the person named above but I no longer live at the address listed." Fill in your new street address and sign the card.

If your new address is in the same county, your voter registration record will be updated and you will receive a new voter acknowledgement card.

If your new address is outside Linn County your voter registration will be cancelled. 

This will not register you to vote in your new community! You will need to re-register at your new address with the appropriate office.