News

Anti-Trump billionaire behind Pa. college voter registration push

Written by Rick Lee/York Daily Record | Aug 22, 2018 10:38 AM
Tom Steyer.JPG

Political activist Tom Steyer speaks during a "Need to Impeach" town hall event at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center, Friday, March 16, 2018, in Cincinnati. (John Minchillo/AP)

Although the numbers are a little rough - comparing the Pennsylvania State Department's voter registration numbers and the U.S. Census' estimated 2017 population figures - there are about 1,176,379 residents of Pennsylvania between the ages of 18 and 24 - college age. 

And, out of that population subset, there are 678,685 voters between 18 and 24 registered in Pennsylvania. 

NextGen America would like to see that second number get closer to that first number and has targeted Pennsylvania, along with 10 other states, for a series of college campus voter registration drives. 

According to NextGen America's website, the goal is to register 100,000 new voters on 400 campuses during college move-in days. 

NextGen America's registration drive will touch down on 58 Pennsylvania campuses. South-central Pennsylvania campuses on NextGen America's list and days for the new voter registration pushes are: 

  • Dickinson College on Aug. 29 and 30 and Sept. 1, 2 and 3; 
  • HACC on Aug. 27; 
  • Millersville on Aug. 23 through 27 and Aug. 30; 
  • York College on Aug. 24 through 28. 

The man behind NextGen America is billionaire Democrat Tom Steyer, the same man who is behind Need to Impeach, the movement to remove President Trump from office. 

According to the NextGen America website, the organization "acts politically to prevent climate disaster, promote prosperity, and protect the fundamental rights of every American." The group says it supports candidates "who support climate action," and claims to have registered 1 million new voters since 2013. 

With that platform in mind, Jarrett Smith, NextGen America's Pennsylvania state director, says the voter registration drive is "nonpartisan."

However, Smith adds, "we are targeting young voters because we know young people are inherently progressive and will vote for lawmakers that stand up for their values like climate justice, affordable health care, college affordability, and more.

"Millennials are the largest eligible voting bloc, but have historically voted in really low rates. We are working to change that so that our lawmakers in Pennsylvania are held accountable to the interests and values of the young people that they represent." 

This story comes to us through a partnership between WITF and The York Daily Record. 

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