National Change of Address

Published 8/29/2019 10:18:45 AM

Getting election mail for someone that no longer resides at your address?

Every year our office compares address changes made by residents to the U.S. Post Office with the Polk County voter registration rolls. This is required by the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 and is referred to commonly as the National Change of Address (NCOA) program.

What happens?
If you reported a change of address to the U.S. Postal service in the last year, and the voter registration address on file in our office does not match this address, we are required by law to update your address and send you an NCOA notice.

Postage-paid reply cards are sent to both your old address, as indicated on our voter registration files, and your new address, as reported by the U.S. Postal Service. This allows you to make any corrections and return the card to our office. We are required by law to mail cards to both addresses, so you may receive two cards.

What do I need to do?

If the new address is correct, please sign and return the prepaid NCOA postcard to our office. You will get a new voter card from our office with your address change in a few weeks.

If the new address is incorrect, but still within Polk County, please write your new address on the postcard, sign and return the prepaid NCOA postcard. We will update your voter record and send you a new voter card.

If you moved outside of Polk County, please write down your correct address, sign and return the prepaid NCOA postcard and we will remove you from our county voter rolls. IMPORTANT NOTE: This change will not register you to vote in a county outside of Polk County. You will still new to re-register in your new jurisdiction.

What do I do if I get a card for someone that doesn’t live at my address?

Indicate on the prepaid NCOA postcard that the person does not live at your address, sign the card and return it to our office.

We will then place this voter on inactive status as we cannot cancel the registration without the signature from the voter, unless: we receive notice from another county that the voter has registered there, we get notice that voter has died, has been convicted of a felony, or the voter has not voted in the last two general elections.

If we do not receive the card, the law requires us to assume the person still resides at the address.

What are common problems with the NCOA Process?

An address change by one family member may have been reported by the US Post office as a change for the whole family.

“Snow birds” who maintain a winter address outside of Iowa to the Post Office as a long term address change many times will receive NCOA postcards.

If an NCOA card is returned without a signature, we will be unable to process any changes.

Two people may have the same name and address (John Doe Sr., John Doe, Jr.)