Breaking Down the Ballot: A Roundtable Discussion

Streaming FREE on Facebook and YouTube

The first in our new REPresent STL series of community conversations, Breaking Down the Ballot is your opportunity to hear from local political and legal experts on all the ins and outs of the upcoming election. Explore the Missouri ballot from head to toe, ask questions of non-partisan election experts, thought leaders, politicians and voting advocates, and get all the information you need to be informed and confident at the polls. This facilitated webinar discussion, moderated by The Rep’s Augustin Family Artistic Director Hana S. Sharif, will be live-streamed on The Rep’s Facebook and YouTube channels. No pre-registration is required.


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Eric Fey, Democratic Director of Elections, St. Louis County
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John Hancock, Co-host of "Hancock & Kelley", KTVI-Fox2
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Dr. Gena Gunn McClendon, Director, Voter Access & Engagement and Financial Capability & Asset Building Initiatives, Washington University
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Denise Lieberman, Director and General Counsel of the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition
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Alejandro Santiago, Membership Manager, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Hana S. Sharif, Augustin Family Artistic Director, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis


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Panelist Bios

Eric Fey is a lifelong St. Louisan and has been serving as the Democratic Director of Elections in St. Louis County since 2015. Eric received a BA in Political Science from Webster University and a MPPA (Public Policy Administration) from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Eric’s professional life has been devoted to public service, having worked in various roles in the field of election administration since 2004. Eric is an active member of the Election Center, having obtained his CERA certification in 2018, and serves as 3rd Vice President of the Missouri Association of County Clerks and Election Authorities. In his free time Eric enjoys participating in international election observation missions and has volunteered for missions in over ten countries including Ukraine, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan. Find him on [email protected]
John Hancock’s political experience spans three decades in grassroots and electoral politics. He is a former state legislator, was the GOP nominee for Missouri Secretary of State in 1992 and 1996, served as executive director for the Missouri Republican Party from 1997 to 2003, and operated a public affairs and political and corporate consulting business for 12 years. In 2015, Hancock was elected to a two-year term as Chairman of the Missouri Republican Party. Under his leadership, Missouri Republicans made historic progress. While Hancock served as Executive Director, the state GOP gained seats in the US House, US Senate, won majorities in the State House and State Senate and recaptured the Governor’s Office. In 2016, under his leadership as Chairman, Missouri Republicans made a historic sweep of statewide offices and maintained super-majorities in the General Assembly. Hancock specializes in campaign strategy and leadership, candidate and issue research, government relations, public opinion surveys, fundraising, event planning, public relations and issue management. He has served as chief strategist for numerous local, statewide and national campaigns. Hancock has also developed and implemented fundraising activities for clients ranging from presidential campaigns, the Republican National Committee, The Missouri Republican Party and numerous non-profit clients. Currently, Hancock co-hosts the weekly “Hancock and Kelley” television program on KTVI-Fox 2 in St. Louis with Democrat Michael Kelley. Hancock and Kelley are also frequent radio hosts on KMOX-AM 1120 in St. Louis. John is married to his wife, Georgann. They have two children—John, Jr., and Mary Kathryn. Hancock is a nationally renowned ragtime pianist and composer, performing concerts and lectures throughout America. His compositions have been recorded by himself and others. In 2013, John was elected to the National Collegiate Debate Hall of Fame.

Denise Lieberman, a civil rights lawyer, serves as Director and General Counsel of the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition, a nonpartisan statewide network of voter advocates. A nationally recognized voting rights expert, Denise has testified on voting rights before Congress and most recently served as director of Power and Democracy for Advancement Project National Office in Washington DC. Denise is also faculty director of the Voter Access and Engagement Initiative at Washington University in St. Louis, where she is an adjunct professor of law and political science. Denise has been at the forefront of voting rights debates in her home state of Missouri and across the country. She is counsel of record in two lawsuits challenging aspects of Missouri’s absentee and mail-in voting procedures to ensure safe and accessible voting amid the pandemic. In her role with the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition, Denise coordinates statewide nonpartisan Election Protection efforts in Missouri. 

Gena Gunn McClendon, PhD is director of the Voter Access and Engagement and the Financial Capability and Asset Building initiatives at the Center for Social Development at Washington University. Her work focuses on policy research analysis and consultation with community-based programs, academic institutions, state and federal policymakers and advocacy groups. Dr. McClendon’s program development and policy advocacy work centers on issues related to voter suppression and civic participation of low- and moderate-income households and marginalized populations. Her research focuses on finding and advancing practice and policy strategies that support an inclusive democracy and the professional training of social work students with an intentional focus on race. Dr. McClendon earned a PhD in Urban Higher Education from Jackson State University, received her Master of Management and Leadership from Fontbonne University in St. Louis, and Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

Alejandro Santiago serves as Membership Manager at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. In his role, he is in charge of reaching out to the community to encourage member sign-ups, member support and advocacy of the Hispanic Community in St. Louis. Born in Mexico, Alejandro studied most of his life there and obtained a law degree from Universidad Anáhuac.  After graduating law school, Alejandro obtained a Master’s Degree in U.S. Law at California Western School of Law in San Diego, California. Alejandro has worked for non-profits and law firms in many areas including real estate, immigration, mediation and contracts. Now in St. Louis, Alejandro is committed to advancing the economic development of all in the region.

Additional Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these background resources curated by our friends at St. Louis County Libraries.  

Please click the link below to download a clickable PDF. 

Rep List for Breaking Down the Ballot.pdf