by NextGen America Executive Director, Ben Wessel
Soaring youth turnout was the story of the early vote, but it seems like Gen Z and millennials weren’t ready to call it quits yet! We’re seeing the energy from the past few weeks persist today around the country. Here’s a “Top 5” of some of the most exciting signs from student and campus turnout — and they’re all campuses where NextGen America has been organizing all year long:
1) WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY — Seeing enthusiastic students waiting in line in Kalamazoo is a good sign for Democrats excited about swinging Michigan back to blue in the presidential race, as well as for progressive candidate for the US House Jon Hoadley in MI’s 6th congressional district!
2) PENN STATE UNIVERSITY — Centre County, Pennsylvania is always the blue dot in the middle of the sea of red in central Pennsylvania. These fired up Nittany Lions (in line at 7:25am this morning) seem excited to continue that trend!
3) UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH — Yesterday, Joe Biden and Lady Gaga went to campus to try to make sure that young voters were prepped and ready to vote today. Building off years of organizing by the NextGen PA team, seems like that’s happening!!
4) ST. AUGUSTINE’S UNIVERSITY (NC) — Young Black voters have been a topic of much discussion this year, but this parade to the polls at North Carolina’s St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh (one of the oldest HBCUs in the state) shows that folks in NC are ready to be a part of the #BlackClapBack
5) DARTMOUTH COLLEGE — With 3,238 votes cast before Election Day and an additional 4,384 in-person votes by 2pm (totaling 7,622 votes with HOURS left to go), Hanover, NH is definitely on track to far surpass its 2016 total of 7,727 ballots cast. Young people, and students in particular, are almost always the margin of victory in the Granite State, and it looks like this year is no different!
You can check out even more great examples of the student vote showing up from CNN’s Rachel Janfaza. And it seems like Joe Biden is picking up on the trend too:
We’ll try to keep you posted on more stories about how the youth vote is turning out. The day is young, even though we’re approaching sunset on the East Coast. Grab a Red Bull and stay with us — and you can even make some last minute calls into Texas and Arizona with our volunteer calling team here!
PS. We’re seeing some county-by-county turnout numbers come out of Florida — and they’re all good signs for Joe Biden and the #youthvote. Check it out!