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National Voter Registration Day Welcomes Iowa 17-Year-Olds to Register

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Tuesday marked National Voter Registration Day.

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate came to Saydel High School to help register first-time voters. Under new Iowa law, 17-year-olds can register to vote if they will be 18 by the next presidential election. That means 17-year-olds can participate in the Iowa caucuses or any primary votes.

"Inviting those folks who will be 18 by the November election to be able to register at 17 and be able to vote in the primaries,” said Pate. “They wouldn’t necessarily have to be 18 in the primaries as long as they’re 18 by that November election.”

People can get registered online, at many government office buildings or at the polling place on Election Day.

“You need to have a voter ID. The simplest way to do it, just have an Iowa driver's license,” said Pate. “If you don’t [have a driver's license], the county auditor will send you a voter ID card with a pin number on it for free.”

“I’m 17 and I am excited to get into the political process,” said Gabby Neddermeyer. “I’m excited that the new Iowa law allows me to attend caucuses and things like that.”

“I’m pretty excited I’m going to get my voice out,” said Kelsey Floyd, a 17-year-old student at Saydel. “You can tell the candidates what I would like to see, usually mostly in school mainly because I’m still my senior year.”

People wanting to register or learn more about voting can contact the Vote Ready Iowa website.

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