Youth voting organization launches $32M registration effort in key battlegrounds

A youth voting organization is launching a $32 million program that aims to register, inform and mobilize young voters in key battleground states ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

NextGen America launched the voter-mobilization effort on Thursday and will target young people in Texas, Arizona, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Michigan, Wisconsin and Nevada.

Those states, according to the group, are where young voters and communities of color have historically been underrepresented in the electorate and where individuals have grappled with ongoing suppression and discrimination when casting ballots.

The coalition is aiming to register more than 288,000 voters — including 150,000 in Texas — before the 2022 midterm elections and is seeking to target more than 9 million young people, a goal that will continue into the 2024 cycle.

The group said that over the next two months it will send voter registration mail to more than 99,000 young voters and text and call 1.4 million others.

“We aren’t sitting on the sidelines waiting for history to turn our way — we’re mobilizing the power of young Americans to bend the arc of history and set a new direction for our country,” Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, president of NextGen America, said in a statement.

“NextGen America is organizing in the largest voter-suppression states in the country to empower the largest and most diverse generation in American history to make the change we need,” she added.

The massive push comes months before the 2022 midterm campaigns kick into gear as Democrats and Republicans compete for control of Congress for the second half of President Biden’s term.

NextGen America focused on its efforts in Texas when announcing the new initiative, calling their investments in the Lone Star State “unprecedented.”

The group said Texas is the most difficult place to cast ballots, especially for young and nonwhite voters. The new initiative, they said, is meant to fight “voter suppression designed to diminish the democratic power of young people and people of color.”

NextGen America said it will work to engage young Texas voters through the establishment of a Texas Leaders Committee.

The new program kicks off on Thursday with a meet-and-greet with local activists in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley. The group will then hold a “People’s Hearing” on Saturday, featuring Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) and NextGen founder Tom Steyer, who ran for president in 2020.

Tags Joe Biden Sheila Jackson Lee Tom Steyer Voter registration Youth vote

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