Dispatches From the Field: Voter Education and Registration in Battleground States

In this E2020 event, voting rights advocates will share their experiences with voter engagement in battleground states. 


Jayla J. Allen is a voting rights advocate, activist, and organizer. She is a recent graduate of Prairie View A&M University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Legal Studies, cum laude. Throughout her undergraduate tenure, Jayla entered into the world of activism and organizing. While at Prairie View, she served in various student organizations and held leadership positions across campus. In her first semester, Jayla was appointed precinct chair within the school’s county, making history with her appointment. She then began a university-wide campaign, focused on student civic engagement. In this role, she partnered with her peers and colleagues, hosting a range of events centered on voter registration drives, candidate town halls and roundtable talks on political participation. In 2018, Jayla joined alongside the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, as a student plaintiff in Allen v. Waller, a federal voting-rights lawsuit. It was after Jayla joined the lawsuit, where she began participating in nationwide efforts of tackling voter suppression throughout the U.S. She has appeared on The Real News Network, MSNBC Politics Nation, NowThis News, an interviewee for Amazon Studios-All In: The Fight for Democracy and has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee. She’s also been featured in the Washington Post, the Texas Observer, Reform Austin and O.C. Advocate. Jayla is a native of Dallas, Texas. She currently serves as a 2020-2021 AmeriCorps member, serving within Dallas under-resourced schools. Jayla plans to attend law school next fall and become a civil rights attorney.


Kevin Ballen works with Vote Early Day – a movement of nonprofits, businesses, election administrators, and creatives working to ensure all Americans know their options to vote early. Vote Early Day is a collaboration among media companies, nonprofits, technology platforms, election administrators, influencers, and other businesses to help all eligible voters learn about their early voting options and celebrate the act of voting early. This collaborative, open-source model – similar to Giving Tuesday and National Voter Registration Day – will ensure that millions more Americans take advantage of their options to vote early.


Albert Morales is Senior Political Director at Latino Decisions and based in Washington DC. His years of experience working as a senior official with the Democratic National Committee spans three different DNC Chairs, and one stint with the Democratic Governors’ Association. In the run up to the 2016 Presidential Primaries, Morales served as Director of Hispanic Engagement and Deputy Director of the party’s overall engagement efforts. During Governor Howard Dean’s tenure at the DNC, Morales spearheaded the party’s 50 State Strategy aimed at Hispanic voters. As Chairman Dean’s Director of Hispanic Engagement, he developed and managed the implementation of new models for how the DNC interacts with the Hispanic electorate in the lead up to the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary Election. Also at the DNC, Morales served as Regional Political Director for the Committee’s 2000 Redistricting Project. In this role, he developed a political strategy to work with state parties to promote favorable redistricting plans. He also worked with house and senate caucuses in state legislatures advocating for consensus on redistricting maps.


Friday, October 23rd, 4:30-6:00 pm, EDT
Free and open to the public
Zoom Link here: https://wesleyan.zoom.us/j/93785652808


The E2020 Speaker Series brings together community organizers, activists, and changemakers to talk about the 2020 election and movement-building. See the whole lineup here: http://engageduniversity.blogs.wesleyan.edu/2020/08/31/engage-2020-speaker-series/
The E2020 Speaker Series is supported by generous contributions from the Wintman Family Lecture Series Fund.