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How do campaign contribution limits work?

For federal elections, the maximum donation from an individual to a candidate is $2,900 per election. Those numbers reset for the primary and general elections, as well as any runoff elections, so an individual could donate more than $2,900 for an entire campaign.

Sometimes, however, it may appear that individual donations exceed those limits. For example, when browsing receipts via the Federal Election Commission, you’d see John Pappajohn donated $10,000 to Chuck Grassley’s campaign in October 2021. But, upon closer inspection, you’d see two negative entries for $2,900 each for John and two $2,900 entries attributed to his wife, Mary — one for the primary election and one for the general. This type of transaction is referred to as a “reattribution.”

“It is a common method of curing a potentially excessive contribution by having the committee “reattribute” all or a portion of the excessive amount to another individual on the same checking account (frequently a spouse),” said Myles Martin, a spokesperson from the Federal Election Commission. Other excess contributions may be refunded to the donor and would show up as disbursement, not a receipt, on the committee’s filings.

Different federal election contribution limits apply for political action committees, candidate committees and party committees — with variable limits based on both the donor and recipient.

CNA - Stop HIV Iowa (March)

The state of Iowa does not have campaign contribution limits. According to the Iowa Ethics & Campaign Disclosure Board, candidates may accept contributions from individuals and political action committees. Prohibited contributors are corporations, banks, credit unions, insurance companies and, in certain cases, political committees during and around the regular legislative session.

How do I register to vote?

The deadline to pre-register to vote has passed, but you can register on Election Day on Thursday, Nov. 8. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Find your polling place at

To register, you’ll need to prove your identity and residence. The easiest way to do this is with a valid driver’s license with your current address.

If you don’t have a current Iowa driver’s license, prove your identity with any photo ID that is current, valid and contains an expiration date. Acceptable IDs include: Iowa non-operator ID, out-of-state driver’s license or non-operator ID, U.S. passport, U.S. military or veteran ID, ID card issued by employer, student ID issued by Iowa high school or college or tribal ID card/document.

As proof of residence, bring a document current within 45 days that contains your name and address. Valid documents include: residential lease, utility bill (including a cell phone bill), bank statement, paycheck, government check or other government document or property tax statement. Documents may be paper or electronic.

And finally, if you are unable to provide adequate proof of who you are and where you live, a registered voter from your precinct may attest for you. You are both required to sign an oath. False attestation is a class “D” felony punishable up to $10,245 and five years in prison. 

If you’ve previously registered to vote and need to update your information, the same rules apply. To check your voter registration status, enter your information at ♦

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