The 2020 United States election took place on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. All 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives, 35 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate, and the office of President of the United States were on the ballot.
At Pacific University, the 2020 election provided an opportunity to implement voter engagement plans years in the making, but also forced us to adjust to the trying challenges of the year—not just the global COVID-19 pandemic but regional wildfires and a significant portion of students studying remotely. Rising to the occasion, the Pacific Votes effort ultimately provided a comprehensive set of events, trainings, and marketing campaigns to promote voter engagement at Pacific University that have cemented our commitment to being a campus in which voting is encouraged, accessible, understood, enacted, and celebrated.
Through extensive collaboration across institutional units, and between a wide array of staff, faculty, and students on the Pacific Votes Workgroup, our campuses have adapted to challenges that went well beyond mere apathy or lack of information to the heart of our community’s most basic needs, our well-being, and our shared hopes and fears. By all accounts, 2020 was an emotionally charged and historically significant election. We needed to not only connect, but to overcome distance and related technological issues, recognize the feeling of overwhelming intensity of 2020, support the most fragile and marginalized among us, and find ways to encourage our community to focus on how the strength of our democracy comes from shared civility and robust participation.
This effort was made possible through the work of every single member of the Boxer community, and your efforts have not gone unnoticed. In 2020, President Hallick signed the ALL IN President's Commitment to Full Student Voter Participation and Pacific was named to Washington Monthly's Colleges Doing the Most to Get Their Students to Vote. In early 2021, Pacific was designated a "Voter Friendly Campus" by the Fair Election Center and NASPA. We are the first institution in the state of Oregon to receive this designation. Full details of the Pacific Votes efforts that led to this designation can be found in our End-of-Year Report, and data about this and past year's efforts are available on Pacific Votes.
We are proud of the work we have done and excited to learn the results of our voter engagement efforts in 2020. Most significantly, we are enthusiastic in continuing our work, learning from past efforts and committing to strive for full voter participation in the future. Pacific Votes!