Next Gen America: New report finds youth voter registration in WI surges by 5.7 percent following Parkland shooting

CONTACT: NGA Press Office, 415-802-2423
or press@nextgenamerica.org or press@targetsmart.com

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Registration rates for voters aged 18-29 have significantly increased in Wisconsin over the last nine months, according to a new TargetSmart analysis, presaging the increased impact young Wisconsinites may have on the upcoming midterm and presidential elections.

Read the analysis HERE.

Using February 14, 2018, as a reference point — the date on which the Parkland, Fla., shooting happened, which spurred a youth-led movement to register young voters across the country — TargetSmart’s analysis found that the share of youth registrants in Wisconsin has increased from 8.33 percent to 14.04 percent of new registrants — a 5.7 point surge.

“With six weeks to go until the midterm elections, our new analysis again underscores that a new generation of political leaders is emerging and poised to have an outsized impact on national, state, and local elections,” said TargetSmart CEO Tom Bonier. “The big question following our previous analysis was whether these newly registered young voters would actually cast a ballot in November. Today’s analysis showing a massive surge in youth voter turnout begins to answer that question — and campaigns in every state should take notice.”

“These numbers reflect what we’ve been seeing on the ground all year: young voters are fired up like never before and will turn out in record numbers this November,” said Ben Wessel, Director of NextGen Rising. “Young people are starting to recognize that, as the largest eligible voting bloc in the country, they have the power to reshape American politics and bring change to the issues they care about. NextGen America has pledged nearly 40,000 young Wisconsinites to vote, and will continue to engage and mobilize this powerful group over the next six weeks to create lasting change in our politics.”

This spike in voter registration activity comes on the heels of grassroots movements to address gun violence issues. A recent poll by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, conducted in the wake of the Parkland school shooting, found that 64 percent of 18-29 year-olds favor common sense gun reforms.

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