May 20, 2018

Voter registration accelerating among young people

Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

"The pace of new voter registrations among young people in crucial states is accelerating, a signal that school shootings this year ... may prove to be more than ephemeral displays of activism, the N.Y. Times' Michael Tackett and Rachel Shorey report.

What's happening: "Voter data for March and April show that young registrants represented a higher portion of new voters in Florida, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, among other states."

  • "In Florida, voters under 26 jumped from less than 20 percent of new registrants in January and February to nearly 30 percent by March, the month of the gun control rallies. That ticked down to about 25 percent in April, as the demonstrations subsided, but registration of young voters remained above the pace" before the Parkland shooting.
  • "In North Carolina, voters under 25 represented around 30 percent of new registrations in January and February; in March and April, they were around 40 percent."
  • Why it matters: "If voters in their teens and 20s vote [in midterms] in greater numbers than usual, ... the groundswell could affect close races in key states like Arizona and Florida, where there will be competitive races for governor, the Senate and a number of House districts in November."

Organizers help:

  • "NextGen America, a group funded by the activist billionaire Tom Steyer, is targeting voters ages 18 to 35 in 10 traditional battleground states.
  • "Inspire U.S. ... has been concentrating on registering high school students in their classrooms [and] uses a texting app to remind users to vote."

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