Tom Steyer's group put in some serious voter registration work in 2018.
NextGen America, which is backed by the progressive billionaire environmentalist, announced in a press release Tuesday that its Florida offshoot, NextGen Florida, registered over 50,000 Floridians to vote ahead of the Nov. 6 general election. The group also said in the release that it knocked on over 88,500 doors and sent over 23,000 texts to voters.
Those gaudy numbers come at a time when many in the political world are keeping an eye on Florida's voter registration rolls. Increasing voter turnout — particularly among young voters — became a rallying cry of many in the state after the Parkland school shooting in February.
But months before that seismic event, NextGen America was in Florida registering voters. The group is not done, either. Tuesday, Oct. 9 is the statewide deadline to register to vote in November. Due to Hurricane Michael, Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner has ordered certain counties to extend that deadline.
Although NextGen's voter registration efforts were conducted in a bipartisan way, the organization has also waded directly into this year's elections. It was an early endorser of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum, and it's currently working to help elect Democrats like Bill Nelson in key congressional races across the state.
The group says its voter registration efforts are paying dividends in disproportionately young voting precincts. Whether youth voter turnout spikes on Election Day remains to be seen.
Carly Cass, NextGen Florida's Youth Director, said although the group is "tremendously proud" of its voter registration efforts, they still have more work to do.
"From now until November 6th, we're going to remind voters that they have the power to move the needle on issues like affordable healthcare, racial justice and climate change," Cass said in a statement.