“Cool to vote”: Hollywood election telethon aims to get youth to polls
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) — Hollywood celebrities will make a push next week to urge young people to the polls in Tuesday’s U.S. elections, when control of Congress and many state governorships are at stake.
In a first-of-its-kind event, more than 50 actors, comedians and YouTube stars will join a two-hour, live-streamed telethon on Monday night aimed at firing up younger voters, the age group least likely to cast a ballot.
Stars will not ask for money during the “Telethon for America.” Instead, they will urge viewers to call in to a celebrity phone bank and pledge to vote the next day.
Comedian Chelsea Handler, who left her Netflix (NFLX.O) talk show a year ago to focus on activism, said she believes young people expect “older, more responsible adults” will act to solve problems through government.
“They just think someone else is going to take care of it, it’s not their problem and they may not be directly affected by it,” Handler, who is 43, said in an interview.
Turnout in midterm elections is traditionally lower than in presidential elections. Reuters/Ipsos polling bit.
ly/2yNqop7 found that in October only
25 percent of people aged 18-29 said they were certain to vote in the election, the lowest percentage of any age bracket.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt on Friday added their voices to the campaign to get out the vote.
“This election might be the most consequential of our lifetime,” DiCaprio said in a video message with Pitt released on social media, mentioning issues like gun control, the environment and immigration, without referencing any political party.
While the organizers of Monday’s event say it is a nonpartisan effort, increased turnout among young voters could help Democrats. Forty percent of people in that age group identified as Democrats, while 22 percent called themselves Republicans.
Jane Fonda, Charlize Theron, Judd Apatow and others will participate in the telethon.
Viewers will be directed to information about how and where to vote in the elections.
Netflix show host Chelsea Handler appears on stage at Politicon, “the unconventional political convention”, at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California, U.S., July 29, 2017. (Reuters/Andrew Cullen)