NextGen Florida – the Sunshine State’s affiliate of the national young voter registration organization – announced Tuesday that organizers had registered 50,773 young voters, ages 18 to 35, ahead of the Tuesday registration deadline.
Political analysts have long been skeptical about the effectiveness of the “youth vote” in Florida, especially during midterm elections where voter engagement is routinely low. But NextGen’s data shows that the organization’s efforts leading up to the Aug. 28 primary in Florida increased voter turnout in “youth-dense areas.”
In voting precincts around the University of Florida in Gainesville, voter turnout more than doubled, and voter turnout was about six times higher than in 2014 in one precinct near the University of Central Florida in Orlando, NextGen reports.
“We are tremendously proud of the fact that we’ve registered over 50,000 voters this election cycle,” NextGen Florida Youth Director Carly Cass said in a statement. “But our work isn’t done yet. From now until Nov. 6, we’re going to remind voters that they have the power to move the needle on issues like affordable healthcare, racial justice and climate change.”
“For too long, leaders like Rick Scott have tried to suppress the voices of young Floridians,” Cass said. “We’re giving voters the information and tools to fight back and help shape Florida’s future.”
The 120 NextGen organizers and over 3,500 volunteers in Florida have collected over 29,000 pledge-to-vote cards and surveys from young Floridians about their political concerns, NextGen reports. As of Tuesday, the organization has registered over 233,000 young voters nationwide.
The NextGen Florida chapter opened September 2017 with a $3.5 million investment from American billionaire Tom Steyer and has since been working to mobilize young people to vote in the Nov. 6 midterm election.