The Wrap Up: 2020 Election

Heading into the biggest election of our lives, we set bold goals for voter registration and getting out the vote.

Our goals:

  • Complete 240 virtual class raps (presentations) in high schools and colleges to make sure students register to vote by October 13
  • Contact young people ages 18-29 statewide to make a vote plan & talk about ballot measures.

Our C4 branch also made thousands of calls for Shemia Fagan, Chloe Eudaly, Lacey Beaty, Nafisa Fai, Nadia Hasan, and Jackie Leung.

To get out the vote we built on the power of our year-round organizing cohorts, 12 paid Election Interns, and policy win to make voting free with paid postage. We made over 142,000 calls and sent over 236,000 texts to 18-29 year olds across Oregon with information about how to vote — an investment that helped lead to historic youth voter turnout in our state.

For our voter registration efforts, we knew the importance of continuing to reach out to high school and college students regardless of the pandemic. We shifted all of our efforts to be virtual and employed 23 high school and college students to do peer-to-peer voter registration and civic education in 100+ schools, making hundreds of virtual classroom presentations.

Who did we reach? Young voters in Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Marion Counties and parts of Eugene. We also contacted thousands of inactive voters across the state to let them know how to update their voter status.

Turnout

Preliminary data shows that young Oregon voters turned out at record-setting rates. 64% of eligible 18-24 year-olds cast a ballot statewide, 6 points higher than in the 2016 presidential election. Similarly, 70% of eligible 25-34 year-olds cast a ballot, up 16 points from 2016.

We also see this as the impact of the critical voter access expansions we won through Automatic Voter Registration and free voting with paid postage on our ballots!

How did we do it?

Hiring paid interns – we prioritized hiring BIPOC organizers of high school and college ages. All students agreed or strongly agreed they gained a deeper understanding of civic engagement, and the role that voting plays in our movements.

Leveraging our communications powers – our collaboration with design company OMFGCO helped us reach thousands of people online and shape a narrative around the importance of voting.

The culture of our organization – all interns agreed or strongly agreed there was an inclusive and welcoming environment. Some even said it was one of the most equitable and inclusive spaces they’ve ever been in.