Secretary Pate urges schools to register 17-year-olds to vote

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate has launched a drive to get schools involved in registering young voters.

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate announces a new initiative to get 17-year-old Iowans to vote on September 10, 2019 (Courtesy: Iowa Secretary of State's Office/Twitter @IowaSOS)

The Iowa Legislature passed a law in May 2017 that lowered the voter registration age to 17 as of Jan. 1 of this year. Under the new law, those who will be 18 in time for the next general election also may participate in primary elections.

Pate on Tuesday announced plans to award schools that register at least 90 percent of their eligible students to vote with the Carrie Chapman Catt Award, named after the Iowan who was a national leader in the women's suffrage movement.

He encouraged schools to organize voter registration events on Sept. 24, which is National Voter Registration Day.