MASON CITY — Newman Catholic High School in Mason City is one of four schools in the state that have qualified for the Carrie Chapman Catt Award by registering at least 90 percent of their eligible students to vote.

The award is part of a new initiative that Secretary of State Paul Pate launched in September. “We are very excited to see that we’ve registered over a thousand high school students as a result of our Carrie Chapman Catt Award program, a statewide effort where we’re asking high schools to reach out to their seniors who are 17 years and older to register to vote. 56 schools and 43 counties have stepped up and we’re seeing great results.”

A new state law allows 17-year-olds to register to vote as well as allowing students to vote in primary elections if they will be 18 by Election Day in November. The award is named after the Charles City native who was one of the national leaders of the women’s suffrage movement, helping to secure the passage of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote.

Besides Newman, Prairie High School and the Isaac Newton Christian Academy both in Cedar Rapids, as well as Rivermont Collegiate in Bettendorf have met the 90-percent threshold. Eight other high schools across the state have registered at least 50-percent of their eligible students to vote.