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Secretary Pate to conduct Iowa Youth Straw Poll on October 30; Gubernatorial, congressional races to be polled
Paul D. Pate
Secretary of State
State Capitol
Des Moines, IA 50319
Iowa Secretary of State Seal WEBSITE:
Kevin Hall
Communications Director
(515) 725-2942
October, 16 2018

Secretary Pate to conduct Iowa Youth Straw Poll on October 30; Gubernatorial, congressional races to be polled

DES MOINES - Secretary of State Paul Pate will conduct a statewide Iowa Youth Straw Poll on Tuesday, October 30. More than 230 schools and 50,000 students are registered to participate in the event. Students will be polled on Iowa's races for Governor and U.S. Congress. They will also be asked if they plan to register to vote when they are eligible. Secretary Pate will compile the results and announce the winners.

"Engaging young people in civics hopefully inspires them to be active in their community throughout their lives," Secretary Pate said. "Voting should be a pleasant and rewarding experience. This is an opportunity for students to become engaged in the process in a fun, hands-on way. Many straw poll participants will be eligible to vote for the first time this November, and I want all of them to be a voter."

Secretary Pate invites every public school, parochial school, homeschooling student and youth group in the state to participate. Every gubernatorial and congressional candidate on the November general election ballot was asked to provide a short video with a personalized message for Iowa students. The videos are available on Secretary Pate's YouTube page.

The Iowa Youth Straw Poll has the support of the Iowa Department of Education and the Iowa Council for the Social Studies.

"As a former social studies teacher, I appreciate that the Iowa Youth Straw Poll is a real-world learning activity that helps students deepen their understanding of democracy and build the skills they need to become engaged citizens," said Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise.

"Younger voters are the least likely to participate in elections. The Iowa Youth Straw Poll conducted by the Iowa Secretary of State's Office is a valuable opportunity for students to see how easy it is to vote in Iowa and have their voices heard," said Jack Vanderflught, government teacher at Dallas Center-Grimes High School and government liaison for the Iowa Council for the Social Studies.

Secretary Pate won the 2016 National State Boards of Education Award for Outstanding Leadership in Voter Education for his work in organizing the Iowa Youth Straw Polls and Iowa Youth Caucus. The Iowa Youth Straw Poll is a component of Elections 101, a free online curriculum developed by Secretary Pate and written by Iowa teachers for Iowa students. The curriculum is available at

Students, teachers, and organizations can register for the Iowa Youth Straw Poll by clicking here. A full list of schools that have already registered is available at this link. Teachers and students are encouraged to post photos of their Youth Straw Poll activities on social media, utilizing the #BeAVoter hashtag.