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Dianne Bystrom, Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women
and Politics, (515) 294-4185
Margaret Baum, Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women
and Politics, (515) 294-3181
David Gieseke, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, (515) 294-7742
Kevin Brown, News Service, (515) 294-8986


AMES, Iowa -- An Iowa State University workshop on how to participate in the Iowa caucuses will be broadcast at 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 26, by the C-SPAN cable television network. The Iowa Caucus Workshop, taped Nov. 6, was sponsored by the ISU College Republicans, ISU Democrats, the League of Women Voters of Ames, Iowa State's department of political science and the Committee on Lectures (funded by the GSB).

Dianne Bystrom, director of the Catt Center, said the workshop focused on how Iowans can participate in the first-in-the-nation presidential selection process. The caucuses will be Monday, Jan. 19.

Bystrom said the training also discussed the history of Iowa's caucus system and the role the caucuses have on the state, regional and national political processes. More than 200 people participated in the training, including many students and younger Iowans.

"We were very pleased with the number of students who turned out for the Iowa Caucus Workshop," Bystrom said. "We hope the C-SPAN broadcast will help educate the rest of the country about this important political event. Our goal for the local workshop was to educate young citizens about the caucus process so that they will be encouraged to participate in the actual caucuses. With the C-SPAN broadcast, more U.S. citizens can learn about the caucus process -- what it is and why it is important to American politics and presidential campaigns."

Margaret Baum, Catt Center program coordinator, helped organize the caucus workshop and works with student groups to promote political participation.

"Lack of information is one problem young people say keeps them from voting," Baum said. "The caucus workshop provided an opportunity for participants to learn why their involvement is important and also to hear other young people explain why they decided to support a particular candidate.

"Hopefully, the caucus workshop helps ease the nerves of first-time caucus participants and helps them feel more comfortable taking on the duties of citizenship and its political power," she added. "The workshop shows that many young people are taking responsibility for educating themselves about the political process and the candidates -- making a difference in Iowa."

Iowa Secretary of State Chet Culver led the training session that also featured State Sen. Mark Zieman (R-Postville) and Gordon Fischer, Iowa Democratic Party chairperson.


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Published by: University Relations,
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