DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate encourages all Iowa high schools to participate in a statewide effort to register students to vote. Each school that registers at least 90 percent of their eligible students by March 22 will receive the 2023-2024 Carrie Chapman Catt Award, named after the Iowan who was a national leader in the women’s suffrage movement. Schools that register at least 50 percent and 70 percent of eligible students will also receive statewide recognition.
“It’s important for every eligible Iowan to vote, and young people are a major part of that,” Pate said in a released statement. “Young people in Iowa are becoming more and more engaged in Iowa’s election processes. Registering students to vote is a big step in keeping up that momentum. Since the creation of the Catt Award, thousands of students have registered to vote, and we look forward to seeing voter turnout in upcoming elections reflect that.”
State law allows 17-year-olds to register to vote in Iowa. They can also participate in primary elections if they will be 18 years old in time for the general election.
Schools interested in being considered for the Carrie Chapman Catt Award and receiving information and resources about how to conduct a voter registration should visit sos.iowa.gov/youth/carriechapmancattaward.html. More details about the Carrie Chapman Catt Award and a list of last year’s winners are also available on the website.
Pate will conduct a formal trophy presentation at each school that registers at least 90 percent of eligible students.
The Catt Award was launched in 2019. Over the 2022-2023 school year, 19 schools were recognized for registering 90 percent of eligible students to vote.