Iowa Secretary of State and College Students

CEEP Collaborates with Iowa Secretary of State for College Voter Engagement Summit

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate, in cooperation with the Campus Election Engagement Project and Iowa Campus Compact, hosted a two-day College Voter Engagement Summit April 13th – 14th at the State Capitol to help prepare students for the 2018 elections and identify best practices for non-partisan voter registration drives on campus.

“There are 300,000 college students in our state and I want all of them to register to vote and participate in our elections,” Secretary Pate said. “It is important that students understand the process so that they are Voter Ready for the primary in June and the general election in November.”

More than 70 participants from over 15 colleges and universities across Iowa registered for the College Voter Engagement Summit. Presenters included representatives from the Secretary of State’s Office, the Carrie Chapman Catt Center at Iowa State University, Drake University’s Political Science Department, and TurboVote. They guided students through step-by-step best practices for establishing a voter registration drive.

“Iowa is one of the most politically active states in the country, and getting Iowa’s students involved in the political process is imperative. The partnership between Campus Election Engagement Project, Iowa Campus Compact, and the Iowa Secretary of State’s office is unprecedented, and it shows how much this state values student election engagement,” said Samantha Bayne, Drake University student and state director for the Campus Election Engagement Project.

Focus was also placed on helping students understand Iowa’s new voter ID requirements. Materials and information from the Secretary of State’s Voter Ready Toolkit were included in the presentations.

“It is important for students to receive the facts about voter registration and what to expect when casting their ballots. The Voter Engagement Summit will help them cut through the clutter and misinformation. They will see that the process remains simple, voter registration has not changed, and that being Voter Ready requires three basic steps: register to vote, bring your ID, and cast your ballot,” Secretary Pate said.

Secretary Pate partnered with 38 colleges and universities across the state for the inaugural Iowa College Voter Engagement Drive in 2016. The event helped thousands of college students register to vote and participate in the 2016 general election.

“The Campus Election Engagement Project greatly appreciated the work that Secretary Pate, Iowa State University, Drake University, and Turbovote put into the summit. Students walked away with a better understanding of how they can participate in the upcoming midterm election process and become more equipped to share this information with their campuses and communities.  CEEP looks forward to continuing to help Iowa campuses engage in the upcoming 2018 elections. If you would like more information on how to get your Iowa campus engaged in the upcoming election, please feel free to contact Samantha Bayne, Iowa CEEP State Director.

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