Mitchell’s presentation also focused on college campus voting in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Virginia, and Wisconsin. In case you’re unaware, one of the largest (if not the largest) universities in the nation, Arizona State University (my alma mater!) is in those states. In Georgia, there are so many universities just in the Atlanta metro area, it’s hard to keep track; plus all the historically Black colleges and universities in the state. Wisconsin, in addition to being a state that historically tried to restrict voting, has another massive university system.


This tracks with Donald Trump’s comments at the same event last weekend, where he said he hopes to eventually end early voting and vote by mail, two tactics that don’t favor Republicans, because they spent years telling their voters those ways of voting were bad. (Mitchell is also a memorable Trump orbit figure because she was on the infamous “find 11,000-plus votes” call when Trump tried to get the Georgia secretary of state to overturn the election for him.)

Mitchell’s presentation to a roomful of GOP donors amounts to an acknowledgement that the party is badly losing the youth vote as more and more Gen Z kids reach voting age. Indeed, when your policies are diametrically opposed to those cited as priorities by young voters—gun control, action on climate change, etc.—and you’re banning books and going after gay, trans, and reproductive rights at the same time, it’s going to be hard to win their vote! But instead of actually trying to win the youth vote by taking a hard look at their own legislative agenda, Republicans are just trying to cheat as a shortcut.