A new state law lets 17-year-olds register to vote if they will be 18 by Election Day in November. Secretary of State Paul Pate established an award this fall to recognize schools where at least 90 percent of eligible students have registered to vote.
Cedar Rapids Prairie and the Isaac Newton Christian Academy in Cedar Rapids as well as Rivermont Collegiate in Bettendorf and Mason City Newman have already reached that threshold.
Pate says eight other Iowa high schools have registered at least half of their eligible students to vote and there’s still time. The contest runs through April 1st.
Pate named the award in honor of Carrie Chapman Catt, the Iowa suffragette who helped pass the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote. Pate will present a trophy to each school that reaches the voter registration goal. State officials say nearly 5000 17-year-olds are now registered to vote. They will be able to vote in the Caucuses and in the Primary elections in June.