DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate is conducting the 2017 Iowa Youth Straw Poll Wednesday, Nov. 1, in hundreds schools across Iowa. The goal of the straw poll is to engage students in a hands-on learning experience that will inspire them to participate in their community. Poll questions will include whether cities should allow the use and sale of fireworks, favorite school subject, favorite state university and favorite superhero.
More than 230 schools and 40,000 students across Iowa have already registered to take part in the straw poll, and every school in the state is welcome to join. Statewide results will be announced Nov. 1 by the Secretary of State’s office.
“This is an excellent way to let students make their voices heard and see what it is like to be a voter,” Pate said. “Since city elections take place on Nov. 7, this will be an excellent prelude to that important vote and hopefully the kids can inspire their parents to turn out and vote on Nov. 7.”
Pate wants every public school, parochial school and homeschooling student in the state to participate in the straw poll. Youth groups, such as 4-H, Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts are welcome to take part as well. The Iowa Youth Straw Poll is a facet of “Elections 101,” a free online curriculum developed by Pate and written by Iowa teachers for Iowa students.
The Iowa Department of Education and Iowa Council for the Social Studies support the Iowa Youth Straw Poll.
“Students are best positioned to learn when they participate in real-world activities,” Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise said. “The Iowa Youth Straw Poll is an excellent opportunity to teach our kids about the principles of democracy while building the skills they need to be engaged citizens.”
During last year’s straw poll, held Nov. 1, 2016, the results of the students’ vote aligned with the official results for the presidential, U.S. Senate and all four congressional races in the state.
A full list of the schools that have signed up so far for the Iowa Youth Presidential Straw Poll can be found at elections101.org/BeAVoter.