We can’t believe it’s finally here! As we enter the final hours before E-Day, we want to make sure y’all go into November 6th excited by the work young people have led across the country this year. Check out some of the organizers leading the work and share this video with your friends!
Fourteen organizations in the Alliance for Youth Action network have registered 135,120 young voters (and we’re still adding up our other partner totals)! They’ve distributed 1,075,000 voter guides, made hundreds of thousands texts and calls, knocked tens of thousands of doors, hosted over one hundred parades to and parties at the polls, and we are still counting.
These numbers are just a part of the story. Here are some highlights that make us so, so proud:
MOVE Texas now has boots on the ground in key cities across the state including San Antonio, San Marcos, Seguin, Laredo, and Austin. They held 20 parties at the polls during early vote, with two more scheduled for Election Day! They worked in partnership to extend the early vote polling site at Texas State, which resulted in 3,000 votes cast! They registered 17,000 of the 27,000 new voters in Bexar County and are making a huge contribution to youth voter turnout records across the state.
The Ohio Student Association hit the ground running last November when they hustled with in-state partners to get Issue 1, a groundbreaking criminal justice reform measure, on the ballot by collecting over 730,000 signatures from voters in every county. Since then, they’ve worked with the Midwest Culture Lab and local organizers to train artists and creatives on how to engage young Ohioans around Issue 1 using cultural organizing tactics. Not to mention, they’ve registered over 30,000 voters, sent hundreds of thousands of texts, and knocked tens of thousands of doors across the state.
Leaders Igniting Transformation (LIT), in Milwaukee, ran their first Black Hogwarts program — a summer leadership institute where they trained the next generation of young organizers of color. And the results were awesome. Milwaukee had a 33% increase in voter turnout during the primary in communities they organize. Since then, they’ve knocked thousands of doors and collected just as many pledge to vote cards all while reaching hundreds of thousands of young people on social media. LIT is truly a leader in building much needed capacity for young folks of color in Milwaukee.
Georgia Shift has spent the last year and a half building power with young voters in Augusta and pushing candidates on the issues – including the high cost of college, racial justice, and LGBTQ rights. During the past few weeks of early vote, they’ve been mobilizing students to the polls and contributed to a record breaking 379% young voter turnout increase in Augusta!
New Era Colorado ran a massive program this year on over 20 campuses in 12 counties. They’ve registered over 40,000 voters this cycle and are doing the work to re-engage the young people they’ve registered since 2014 to ensure they’re turning out this year! That’s not all – keep an eye out for NEC alumni on the ballot! After tomorrow, NEC could have alumni serving on every level of government.
Chicago Votes has spent the last year running part of their voter engagement program at Cook County jails where they registered over 3,000 voters and ran an absentee ballot chase program in the jails. They organized to have the nation’s first jail-based polling place in the Cook County jail in the primary and are advocating to take it statewide! But that’s not all! They’ve been leading parades to the polls with hundreds of high school students all throughout early voting. Chicago Votes is also working with local artists and creatives to curate more spaces for young people in Chicago to show up and speak for themselves this midterm election cycle.
Forward Montana has been speaking truth to power by voicing the issues young Montanans care about most directly to candidates. From hosting candidate forums across the state, fighting to save state investment in higher education, and *of course* bringing out the vote goats, Forward Montana has been doing it up big all year. ICYMI – in Montana, the youth vote at this time in 2014 accounted for 8% of the vote share. This year it’s 15%.
Engage Miami has spent the cycle holding it down at Miami Dade College campuses where the most early vote ballots have been casted at any institution of higher learning in the state. From working in partnership to add two additional polling places on MDC campuses, to running an amazing campaign called “Secure the Vote” which seeks to engage young voters in the midterms through voter education and organizing around Amendment 4 to enfranchise voters with felony records, to organizing neighborhood block parties to mobilize young people to the polls. Engage Miami has been working hard and building up communities across the 305.
Minnesota Youth Collective, a one year old organization, has registered over 7,000 new voters and collected more than 15,000 pledge to vote cards to date. They are on 5 campuses, had an amazing fellowship program, and scaled up to a staff of 30 people, which has been crucial in filling a much-needed gap in the state’s organizing infrastructure this cycle. They even got creative during GOTV and hosted a drag show and brunch to encourage young people to vote early! You can find MNYC in dorms and on the doors turning out their peers!
The Washington Bus has been mobilizing for progressive candidates and ballot measures in the most Washington Bus way possible – with themed phone and text banks! From Game of Thrones to Harry Potter, the WA Bus continues to make these tactics fun for their community. Outside of electoral work, they’re fighting for free college in Seattle.
Since the Spring, the Oregon Bus has been working with high school students to mobilize their communities on the importance of gun violence prevention. They’ve grown their high school engagement program to meet demand and now have high school students on their board. This fall, they have been organizing on the issues at the ballot box – including fighting against awful ballot measures on reproductive health care and immigration.
Poder in Action continues to build power with communities of color in Phoenix. This year, they collected over 10,000 in-depth community surveys to better engage voters ahead of this year’s election. In the past 2 weeks, they’ve knocked over 20,000 doors in Phoenix. Poder has their eyes on the prize this year and are engaging and organizing their communities to win!
Michigan Student Power Network has hosted over 45 trainings for youth activists across the state this year. On Election Day, they will host parties and voting information booths on campuses across the state to make sure students have the information they need to vote and enjoy themselves while doing so!
Pennsylvania Student Power Network has scaled their work to reach over 20 campuses across the state. They ran an amazing College for All campaign and since then multiple candidates running for office this year, including Lt. Gov Candidate John Fetterman, have endorsed their College for All platform. On Election Day, they’ll host 23 parties at the polls on campuses across the state!
These are just some of the groups in our network who are leaving it all out in the field on Election Day. And while it’s wild to write this knowing the exhaustion that folks are feeling, the work doesn’t end tomorrow. The true power of the network is flexed after Election Day when we continue to invest in young people to grow their skills, fight for the issues they care about, and hold electeds accountable.
So hang in tight. Cast your ballot and make sure your friends and family do too.