Daily Kos, Lauren Floyd:
When 17-year-old Georgia students Edward Aguilar, Jordan Umusu, Sahan Reddy, and Michael Giusto founded the website Students For 2020, they wanted to provide a place that would not only help college students register to vote but also help them determine which state their vote would matter most in. With many students having dual residency, the choice is often theirs to vote at home or in their college towns. “We kind of like to think of it as reverse gerrymandering,” Aguilar said in a recent interview with Daily Kos. It worked. They ended up registering more than 65,000 students nationally for the 2020 presidential election and 17,000 students in Georgia alone by sharing their website in college email threads and group chats. It was the kind of showing of force with young people that grassroots efforts throughout the state have embraced. Now, Aguilar, Umusu, Reddy, and Giusto have their eyes on getting 40,000 new student voters registered and flipping 60,000 students planning to vote for Republican Sen. David Perdue in Georgia’s upcoming runoff.
“Our goal is to flip these elections entirely through the student voting bloc [given that the mass majority of the incoming waves of political funding will be targeted to the older demographics,]” Giusto said in an email to Daily Kos. His organization, which recently launched a new website with the goal of attracting more young people to government service overall, is focusing in part on more than 23,000 17-year-olds in Georgia. They’ll be turning 18 between November 3 and January 5 and eligible to vote for the first time in the Senate runoff. It’s a demographic that youth-focused organizations throughout the state are focusing on from Campus Vote Project efforts at Historically Black Colleges and Universities to the youth empowerment movement Opportunity Youth United.
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