2022 midterm sees second highest midterm voter turnout in Iowa

The 2022 midterm election reported the second-highest voter turnout in the state since the 2018 midterm election.


Jerod Ringwald

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, speaks during a watch party for Iowa Republicans on Election Day at the Hilton Downtown in Des Moines on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.

Emily Delgado, Politics Reporter

More than 1,220,000 Iowans voted in the midterm election on Tuesday — the second-highest turnout nationwide. The 2018 midterm election still takes first place where 1,329,930 Iowans voted.

“My thanks to Iowans from every corner of the state who made their voices heard by voting,” Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate said in a statement.

Pate is working to audit randomly selected precincts following the election to ensure the integrity of Tuesday’s results.

“Post-election audits add another layer of integrity to the election process,” Pate said. “I want all Iowans to know their vote counts, and it will be counted correctly.”

Pate called for the recount of results of Des Moines County and Warren County on Wednesday because of technical difficulties, as previously reported by The Daily Iowan.

On Wednesday morning, it was discovered by the Office of the Secretary of State that Linn County inaccurately reported six hundred additional ballots. The mistake did not affect the outcome of the races, the office report.

In addition, an entire race was left off the ballot in a township in Linn County. The race left off the ballot was the Linn County Board of Supervisors.

More than 1,220,000 Iowans voted with early voting and on election day. Across Iowa’s four Congressional Districts, 371,223 Iowans voted using absentee ballots. The 1st Congressional District reported the highest amount of absentee voting with 104,253 ballots received out of the 106,936 absentee ballots requested.

After the election on Tuesday, Republican Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks kept control over the newly drawn 1st Congressional District. Miller-Meeks defeated her Democratic opponent, former state Rep. Christina Bohannan, D-Iowa City, by 160,441 votes; 37,644 of those votes were made through absentee voting and 122,797 were made on election day.

In Johnson County, 63,975 residents voted, and 25,566 out of those votes were made through absentee ballots.

Registered student voter turnout

While the official breakdown of the voter demographics won’t be made available until the coming weeks, Iowa City polling locations were filled with University of Iowa students voicing their opinions.

According to the Johnson County Auditor’s Office, registered voter turnout increased 36.37 percent in the east dorms and main UI campus locations on Tuesday compared to the 2018 midterm election.

Voter locations around the UI Hospitals and Clinics, the west dorms, and Melrose Street had a 20.18 percent increase in registered voter turnout.

First-time voter and UI student, Kate Anthofer told the DI on Tuesday that she voted for Deidre DeJear, the Democratic candidate for Governor, and Mike Franken, the Democratic candidate for Iowa U.S. Senator.

“I would say if it had to go one way, I would say it’s definitely more of a conservative state,” Anthofer said. “So it kind of is comforting to know that there is somewhat of a chance for Democrats, or liberal parties to still be able to play a role in politics.”

Thomas Bruner, a UI student studying physics told the DI on Tuesday that he was dissatisfied with Iowa’s Republican control.

“It negatively affects so many people like daily,” Bruner said. “You see, like climate change is an existential threat to society.”

Throughout the campaign months, candidates from both parties made efforts to talk to student voters.

On the first day of early voting, both Bohannan and Miller-Meeks visited the Iowa Memorial Union to talk to students about the importance of voting.

Hours before the election on Tuesday, Bohannan walked around the UI campus talking to students and Iowa City residents.

“No one has more at stake in this election than the students right here do and so I want to make sure that they know how to vote, they know where to vote,” Bohannan said. “And so my whole team was down here today really working with people educating them on where to go and how to vote.”