By Laura Gomez | Arizona Mirror
Young voters in Arizona will be the target of a $32 million campaign seeking to mobilize those ages 18 to 35 in eight states ahead of the 2022 election cycle as part of a program funded by NextGen America, a left-leaning advocacy group founded by billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Steyer.
This week the group announced that it has a goal to register 25,000 new young voters in Arizona and connect with 750,000 through digital and in-person outreach for next year’s election cycle, said Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, president of NextGen America.
“This state has changed rapidly, but it will require the power of young people continuing to turn out for us to actually win on the issues that matter,” Tzintzún Ramirez said. “For us it wasn’t about flipping the state from red to blue. Ultimately, it’s about making sure that we are able to tackle the climate crisis, income inequality, cancel student debt, and deliver on the issues that matter to young people.”
According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University, youth turnout was 51% in 2020 in Arizona, an increase of 18 percentage points when compared to the 33% of registered voters ages 18-29 who voted in 2016.
For the 2020 election cycle, NextGen America spent $4.6 million in Arizona and registered 10,553 young voters, said Kristi Johnston, spokeswoman for the organization. The group had 27 employees, eight programs on college and university campuses and a network of about 1,600 volunteers, she said.