KEENE — Problems with a youth voter organization canvassing in dormitories have at least one New Hampshire college ready to reconsider its relationship with the group.
NextGen America, bankrolled by Democratic billionaire Tom Steyer, put about $1 million into its efforts to get college students in New Hampshire to vote in Tuesday’s election, according to its website.
The organization had paid staff and volunteers going door-to-door encouraging students to vote for Democrats in the midterm election, including at Dartmouth College, the University of New Hampshire and Plymouth State College, as well as various community colleges.
Both Keene State and Plymouth State received a report of NextGen going into the dorms.
“College staff spoke to NextGen leadership and explained why they are not allowed to canvass in the residence halls,” said Kelly Ricaurte, Keene State’s director of strategic communications.
Ricaurte said Thursday the complaint could prompt Keene State to rethink allowing NextGen back for the 2020 election.
“A second report was received today, but we are unsure if it is a duplicate of the first report and are in the process of tracking it down,” Ricaurte said. “Given the timing, we do not yet have enough information to make any decisions regarding future work with NextGen.”
“That’s the same problem we had,” said Marlin Collingwood, Plymouth State’s director of media relations.
Collingwood said NextGen had people going through the dorms and putting stickers on residential doors reminding students to vote. That, Collingwood said, violates the school’s rules against solicitation in the dorms.
Kristen Morris, NextGen’s media manager, said the organization wants to have a good relationship with the state’s colleges.
“NextGen New Hampshire has a great working relationship with the administration at Keene State College,” Morris said. “As part of the KSC Votes coalition, we worked closely with the school to make sure students were able to vote, and look forward to continuing to work with them moving forward.”
NextGen America’s Tom Steyer, a frequent critic of President Donald Trump, is one of the prominent Democrats who was allegedly sent a mail bomb by Trump supporter Cesar Sayoc.