“Cool to vote”: Hol­ly­wood elec­tion telethon aims to get youth to polls

Tehran Times - - ART & CULTURE -

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)

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