The number of elections in Iowa varies from year to year. Presidential elections are held every four years. Since 1972, Iowa has been the first state to vote in presidential primaries, with their caucuses. As with presidential elections, gubernatorial elections are held every four years - but are staggered such that they are held on general elections independently of the presidential election. Members of the Iowa Senate are elected every four years, with half of the Senate elected at each general election; all members of the Iowa House of Representatives are elected every two years. Additionally, elections for various government officials, judicial retention elections, and elections on referenda occur as part of various elections in Iowa.
In Iowa, various local officials are elected at the general election. However, school and city elections are not held during a general election, but at a different regularly scheduled time. Regular school elections are held on the second Tuesday in September during odd-numbered years. Regular city elections are held on Election Day during odd-numbered years. 
In Iowa, special elections may be held throughout the year to fill various governmental vacancies or to vote on ballot initiatives. Special elections are generally held on Tuesdays and may not generally be held on the same day as a general or local election.