Secretary of State Paul Pate wins national award for voter education
DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate is the winner of the National State Boards of Education Award for Outstanding Leadership in Voter Education. Pate was rewarded for his efforts in conducting two statewide Iowa Youth Straw Polls and the Iowa Youth Caucus, which included hundreds of schools and tens of thousands of student participants.
“Our congratulations to Secretary Pate and his staff on their hard work teaching the next generation to carry the torch of liberty,” said Gloria Kirshner, president of National Student/Parent Mock Election organization. “Our mission is to light a fire in the hearts of our young, empowering them to preserve and protect government of the people, by the people and for the people for generations to come, and Secretary Pate’s efforts in Iowa align perfectly with that mission.”
Secretary Pate partnered with the Iowa Democratic and Republican parties to organize a statewide Iowa Youth Caucus, held in November 2015. His office also worked with the Iowa Council for the Social Studies, the Iowa Department of Education, as well teachers and administrators across the state, to conduct two statewide Youth Straw Polls, held in January and November of 2016. Both straw polls included more than 58,000 student participants from more than 250 schools across Iowa.
“I’m very proud of the efforts my staff put in to pull off these mock elections and to see their hard work rewarded with this national award,” Secretary Pate said. “I would also like to thank the Republican Party of Iowa and the Iowa Democratic Party for working so well together to conduct the Iowa Youth Caucus. Together, we engaged Iowa’s young people in the civics process and hopefully spurred them to become active and engaged in the process as adults.”
The Iowa Youth Straw Polls were the culmination of Caucus 101 and Elections 101. Those are free, online, social studies curricula developed by Secretary Pate and written by Iowa teachers for Iowa students. They are available for anyone to use at Elections101.org.
A ceremony for the award presentation will be held on a later date.