Blue wave? Red wave? What about the young wave in midterms?

UNLV Campus Sign (Phillip Moyer | KSNV)

Ask a table of students at University of Nevada, Las Vegas at lunchtime if they are registered to vote.

Chances are all three are, saying they have a date with a ballot.

UNLV student Caitlin Gatchalian says, "We are angry with how our politicians are working and doing different things and we want to use our voice."

Her determination and energy is no surprise to NextGen Nevada, an organization that has been working to get young people here politically involved for months.

The group said today its voter registration drive has signed up 10,725 young voters.

In addition, the group says it has collected just over 16,000 pledge-to-vote cards from people 18 to 29 years old.

NextGen has been on the ground in Nevada since 2017, mounting a youth outreach effort and its “Our Lives Our Vote” program.

40 organizers and 1,400 volunteers have spanned out to local universities and colleges and high school campuses.

“I wanted to be able to vote so I can make a difference for the people who aren't voting,” Sierra Vista High School student Summer Smith said.

In Nevada, NextGen says this year young voters could matter a lot.

“Oh, absolutely. When you're looking at the Senate race and the Governor's race, young people are absolutely going to be the deciding factor in this election,” says Tyson Megown, NextGen Nevada’s State Youth Director.

He could very well be right.

An NBC News/Marist College poll that came out Tuesday says our marquee races for U.S. Senate and Governor are dead heats, both within the margin-of-error, which means every vote, especially every young vote, will matter.

Since the Parkland shooting in February, NextGen says young voter registration has surged in Nevada by 5.2%.

Will young voters actually turn out? NextGen says the primary numbers indicate they will.

“We saw an 80% increase among young people ages 18 to 29 who turned out versus 2014,” Tyson Megown says.

It will be first-year UNLV student Brian Moreno-Lopez’ first time voting.

He says, “It's scary knowing that I can affect something bigger than myself.”

Early voting starts a week from Saturday, Oct. 13, and freshman Jericho Rivera is eager to vote.

“I can make a difference,” he says.

In what’s shaping up to be a tight election, it’s very possible he can.

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