At Civic Influencers, we are succeeding in turning out young voters that can swing elections. The right knows and fears our work—and they’re freaking out.
Billionaire entrepreneur and presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy proposed a constitutional amendment to raise the voting age from 18 to 25. Cleta Mitchell, the right-wing operative, was caught on tape lamenting how organizations like ours are making it easy for college students to vote (prompting me to publish an Op-Ed in The Washington Post).
Rather than try to win over young voters and encourage them to participate, the far right’s desperate gambit is to attack democracy itself. They are furiously erecting voting barriers to block young voters. As they already have in Ohio and Texas.
It’s time we call this what it is: generational gerrymandering.
Thankfully, we’re fighting back. Over the past three years, Civic Influencers has funded and trained more than 700 young people to engage their peers on the importance of voting, by drawing a clear connection to the issues they care about.
What makes us different from most get-out-the-vote efforts is twofold:
- Our focus on traditionally overlooked places such as community colleges, People of Color-serving institutions, as well as trade, technical and vocational schools.
- Our unique data-driven approach to WIN
On the latter, we’ve spent years gathering and analyzing data at the campus, state, and national levels, with the goal of identifying the places where a surge in young-voter turnout can swing the election—and the strategies necessary to make it happen.
Young voters are writing their own democratic destiny. Our Student Voting Heat Map helps tell that story.
In 2022, 34 House races were decided by less than 1%. By mobilizing young voters on “tipping-point” campuses, we helped swing several of these contests in favor of pro-democracy candidates.
Looking ahead to 2024, experts are predicting even more “tossup” races for the House and Senate—contests in which our Civic Influencers will once again play a significant role.
The right’s narrative is officially out in the open: Young people are a threat—and they must be stopped.
Unfortunately for them, young people have the momentum. Our job is to ensure that momentum continues to grow.
Democracy is neither a sprint nor a marathon. It’s an intergenerational relay. Join our Tent Talk on Tuesday, June 6th at 12pm ET and learn how we can take action together.