Kal Penn & Elections Experts Discuss Millennial Concerns In “Your Voice, Your Vote” Town Hall

your voice your vote

Worried about the 2020 US Elections? Aren’t we all! With so much conflicting information flying around it’s hard to know what to think or how to plan- but there are good places to find quality answers. One of those is Your Voice Your Vote: Make Your Vote Count, a virtual town hall sponsored by ABC7/KABC-TV.

Disclaimer: The political snark contained herein is entirely the author’s and does not reflect any position of Your Voice Your Vote or The Geekiary in general. 

With anything even vaguely political the first thing you want to check is the panelists’ credentials. You need to know who these people are and why you should believe them. Don’t worry, I did that for you on Your Voice Your Vote because I didn’t want to recommend something I thought was going to be about as reliable as Tucker Carlson

This town hall has a decent lineup of guests. It’s being hosted by news anchor Marc Brown, who holds degrees in journalism and political science. The anchor listed as the primary educator about election times and methods, Phillip Palmer, doesn’t have a ton of politics in his background- but then, does he really need to when his subject area is “here’s where and how you vote”? I don’t think so. That’s straight news reporting, and he has plenty of experience with that. 

Kal Penn, host of the Freeform series Kal Penn Approves This Message, will be making an appearance in the form of an interview. (Side note: I’ve been eyeing this show as something we might start covering here at The Geekiary. If you like what you see on Your Voice Your Vote, let us know and we’ll add it to our Politics and Fandom lineup.)

The expert panelists will be sharing information about issues relevant to Millennials and below as well as answering viewer questions, according to the press release:

Brown will address numerous voting concerns ABC7 is hearing from the community. He will help viewers understand the myths versus the facts as he delves into numerous topics of concern with the panel of experts. The panel is prepared to answer questions if voting is safe from fraud, the impact on marginalized and non-speaking English communities who don’t vote and the inequities that exist, concerns around in-person voting during the pandemic, how to reach and educate millennials on the importance of how their vote matters and many other concerns.

So, who all is on this panel? We only know the ones listed in the press release. I’m curious about their statement that the town hall “includes” these speakers given that, well, this looks like a beefy panel as it is.

  • Neal Kelley, Registrar of Voters for Orange County, California, the fifth-largest voting jurisdiction in the United States, serving more than 1.6 million registered voters.
  • Dean C. Logan, Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Los Angeles County, the largest and most complex election jurisdiction in the nation, serving more than 4.3 million registered voters
  • Jonathan Mehta Stein, executive director of California Common Cause
  • Diana Colin, director of Civic Engagement at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) and the program director with the CHIRLA Action Fund
  • Allen Edson, president, NAACP Pasadena
  • Michael Alvarez, professor, political and Computational Social Science, CalTech and a fellow of the Society for Political Methodology 

Kelley manages the nation’s fifth-largest voting jurisdiction with a million and a half registered voters. Logan works in the largest jurisdiction, which is incredibly complicated as it has to meet the needs of 4.3 million registered voters. Between them, they have a wealth of information to help concerned voters navigate this election’s unusual challenges. 

There are some interesting people on the panel, especially considering the stated goal of answering Millennial concerns. Good to see the local NAACP was included. I’m very pleased to see academics from CalTech will be on hand to answer any technically difficult questions. 

California Common Cause is an advocacy group working to improve informed access to elections and remove barriers preventing marginalized Americans from freely voting. They also have an emphasis on accountability in media, so their presence adds to the panel’s general credibility.

Having CHIRLA on board sends a pretty clear message that this will fall in line with the common ethics of the generation, too. No uber-conservative group would invite CHIRLA to bring their pro-immigration agenda to a discussion table. All told, based on these panelists I think we can expect reliable information presented in a usable format. 

I will admit that it looks like Your Vote Your Voice is going to be a little California-centric. However, it’s being pitched as general election information. I think it might feature so many LA figures because of travel restrictions and the host’s location. We’ll have to see how that plays out. 

Your Voice Your Vote: Make Your Vote Count will air Saturday, September 26th at 9 pm PDT. You can watch live online or stream it on ABC7’s connected TV apps. Quick note: I shared the ABC7 article about which apps they use because the alternative was a big long list with links, but I promise we’re not sponsored by them or being paid for this article.

I don’t have a major agenda here other than to encourage Millennials and below to vote if they’re eligible. I want every US voter to be informed and to vote, because right now we’re being pushed around by less than a quarter of the population… and we’ve all seen how that’s going. 

Author: Khai

Khai is a writer, anthropologist, and games enthusiast. She is co-editor (alongside Alex DeCampi) of and contributor to “True War Stories”, a comic anthology published by Z2 Comics. When she’s not writing or creating games, Khai likes to run more tabletop RPGs than one person should reasonably juggle.

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