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Tom Steyer Using Therapy Dogs In Attempt To Reach Young Voters

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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter

A political group bankrolled by activist Tom Steyer is using canines to approach millennials and register them to vote ahead of the 2018 elections.

NextGen Climate Action, a political operation founded and funded by billionaire Tom Steyer, is implementing a potentially unprecedented get-out-the-vote effort across the country. The group has almost 800 organizers working in more than 400 college campuses in Wisconsin, Florida, Arizona, Nevada, Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania and elsewhere, according to The Associated Press. NextGen has invested over $30 million in its attempt to bring young voters to the polls this election cycle.

Steyer’s group is believed to be conducting the largest voter engagement operation in the history of the country. Its presence in Wisconsin, for example, boasts 27 full-time workers and 40 student fellows registering students on 26 different campuses.

Engaging this segment of the population can be difficult, however. While young voters lean Democratic, they are consistently averse to going to the polls on Election Day. While generation X, millennials and post-millennials constitute the largest share of eligible voters in the country, this bloc is not anticipated to make up the biggest share of votes in November.

NextGen believes it has a solution to this problem: Dogs.

Dubbed the “Pups to the Polls” campaign, the strategy includes attracting the attention of college-aged kids with therapy dogs, luring them to voter registration tents and encouraging them to actually vote as they pet cute canines. The campaign is already underway, where University of Wisconsin-Madison students returning from summer break were greeted with small dogs they could scratch. (RELATED: Guess How Many People Donated To Tom Steyer’s Green Energy Campaign)

“The outcome of this election definitely affects us,” 18-year-old Kellen Sharp stated to The Associated Press.”I’m just excited to have a voice and say something.”

Sharp, along with others, registered to vote at one of the puppy events the week before his semester began.

“It shouldn’t take cute pups to get you to the polls,” read a digital ad from NextGen Pennsylvania. “But we’ll have some with us anyways! STOP TRUMP and pet cute pups!”

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