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DES MOINES – Thousands of students across Iowa will cast ballots for their preferred presidential and congressional candidates in the upcoming Iowa Youth Straw Poll.

On Tuesday, Oct. 27, one week before Election Day, Secretary of State Paul Pate will poll students on their preferred choices. More than 250 schools have registered to participate so far.

“I believe voting is the most important thing we can do as citizens,” Pate said. “It’s not only our civic duty, but voting gives us all a voice. It’s important for young people to understand that part of what makes America great is that we give the power to the people to determine our leaders. Hopefully that’s a lesson they will carry for the rest of their lives.”

Presidential and congressional candidates were asked to provide a short video with a personalized message for Iowa students. The videos are available on the Elections 101 website and on Secretary Pate’s YouTube page.

The Youth Straw Poll is part of the Elections 101 curriculum developed by Secretary Pate for use in Iowa schools. The poll provides a hands-on educational experience designed to inspire civic engagement. Every public school, private school, homeschool student and youth group in the state is invited to participate.

Students, teachers, and organizations can register for the Iowa Youth Straw Poll by going to https://sos.iowa.gov/youth/poll/registration.aspx. A pin map of schools that have signed up to participate, as well as links to sample ballots and more information about the Youth Straw Poll is available at https://sos.iowa.gov/youth/poll/index.html. The full list of schools that has registered so far is available at https://www.elections101.org/beavoter/.

Every presidential and congressional candidate who qualified for Iowa’s 2020 general election ballot is included in the Straw Poll.