Iowa’s Republican Secretary of State Matt Schultz says a program he initiated to boost voting by recognizing the state’s veterans is growing in popularity. Under the program — dubbed “Honor A Veteran And Vote” — a voter can name a loved one who’s served in the Armed Forces. Schultz says then they get a pin to wear on election day encouraging others to honor veterans by going to the polls:
“Being the co-chair of the voter participation committee for the National Association of Secretaries of State it was something that I presented to the secretaries of state and now we’re seeing lots of secretaries of state creating their own program for veterans for their states,” Schultz says.
Schultz says he doesn’t think it’s unusual for his office to be involved in veterans affairs. “Never heard anybody say that. In fact we work with the veterans affairs coordinators for each county,” according to Schultz. “I’ve been going across the state talking about the program. I have veterans come up to me thanking me for doing this program. “
As co-chair of the voter participation committee for the National Association of Secretaries of State, Schultz has encouraged other states to adopt similar programs. The Iowa Secretary of State website features the names of voters participating in the program, and the veterans they are honoring. Schultz’s office this week mailed out pins to Iowans who signed up for the program at the State Fair. A searchable list of the names of some 2,000 voters and the servicemembers they’re honoring is on the Secretary of State’s website.