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NextGen America

NextGen America (formerly NextGen Climate) was founded by Tom Steyer in 2013 and is guided by a simple mission: When we get young people to show up and vote, we win. After starting and growing a successful investment firm, Tom stepped down to focus his energy and resources on climate change, fighting for racial justice and putting people — not corporations — in charge of our democracy. One key gap Tom noticed in the fight for justice was the need to elect leaders willing to face the climate crisis with the level of urgency and action it demands. NextGen was created to build the grassroots power in key states and districts to elect pro-climate Democrats into office. While our mission has expanded to advocate for a wider array of issues affecting young people, our strategy remains the same: Identify, engage, and mobilize people under the age of 35 who are less than likely to vote or who are not currently registered to vote.

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Record voter turnout included a doubling in the number of mail-in ballots, including this stack being counted in a school gym in Sun Prairie, Wis.

Plenty of warnings in the turnout numbers, even though voting surged

To quote the great 1970s power ballad: Two out of three ain't bad.

That Meat Loaf gold record provides a good summation for the record-breaking turnout in the presidential election: It looks like almost exactly two out of every three eligible Americans voted.

That's an estimated 159.4 million adult citizens, 20.5 million more than the previous high four years ago. And it's the strongest turnout rate since 1900 — when, by the way, women still did not have the franchise and most Black citizens and other people of color were effectively blocked from the ballot box.

Why the "ain't bad" summary, then? Because the total nonetheless means nearly 80 million people who had the right to vote decided not to. Because this year does not change how the United States still ranks near the bottom of the world's developed democracies when it comes to election participation. And because while the youth vote increased significantly, half of the population younger than 30 still did not go to the polls for a presidential election highly consequential to their future.

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Voters in San Francisco opted not to extend the franchise to 16-year-olds for municipal elections.

California says yes to voting by parolees, no to voting by teenagers

Millions of voters out West were asked explicitly this week to stick up for expanded voting rights — and in the main they did so in a series of ballot measures.

In a pair of resounding decisions, Nevadans enshrined 11 voting rights in their state Constitution and Calfornians restored voting rights to nearly 50,000 people who are on parole for felony convictions.

But statewide voters in California rejected the idea of 17-year-olds voting in primaries, while San Francisco shot down a proposal to let 16-year-olds vote in local elections.

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Gen Z is pissed. And our first vote is finally here.

Morris is a junior majoring in political communication at George Washington University. She has interned on Capitol Hill and in her congressional district office in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

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A voter cast an early ballot at the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing in New York.

On the day of the biggest partisan loyalty test, time to start thinking for ourselves

Tangirala is a first-year student planning to major in math at the University of Texas at Austin.

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