DES MOINES, IOWA (January 14, 2021) Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate is encouraging 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 April 16 will receive the 2021 Carrie Chapman Catt Award, named after the Iowan who was a national leader in the women’s suffrage movement.

The Catt Award was launched during the 2019-20 school year and 18 schools qualified. Schools that register at least 50 percent and 70 percent of eligible students will also receive statewide recognition.

“A record number of Iowans are registered to vote and schools across the state stepped up in a big way last year to get students registered,” Sec Pate said. “I hope these positive trends will continue. It’s vital that we engage students in the electoral process.”

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. Partnering with Inspire2Vote, Sec Pate will help schools across the state organize and conduct voter registration drives. Inspire2Vote is a program of Project High Hopes, a 501(c)3 operating foundation which engages in innovating programs in the areas of civic responsibility.

Sec Pate will conduct a formal trophy presentation at each school that registers at least 90 percent of eligible students.

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 For more details about the Carrie Chapman Catt Award and to see last year’s winners, visit the Iowa Secretary of State’s website.

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