LLS Community Engages for Election 2020

Students Volunteer & Faculty Provide Valuable Analysis 

LLS Students Volunteer Throughout Los Angeles County During 2020 Election

Providing analysis to journalists. Volunteering to keep polls running fairly an­d safely. Educating the community about ballot initiatives and voting procedures.

The LMU Loyola Law School community was out in force on Election Day 2020 with faculty contributing their expertise to the public discourse in myriad media appearances and publications, and with over 100 students, representing more than 20 LLS student organizations, volunteering as Los Angeles County poll workers.

“There’s a sense of pride in being able to work the polls on Election Day. Less than 60 years ago an African American like myself was unable to even vote,” said Muhammad Ali ’21. “Now, not only am I able to vote, I’m able to help others vote in a leadership role. It shows the progression America is capable of.”

These efforts aimed to support the democratic process and educate the public about the implications of and path forward for 2020’s general election, one of the most highly contested in decades. Also, in keeping with a tradition first established in 2018, LLS made Nov. 3 a class holiday. Canceling classes allowed students to volunteer, educate themselves and the community on new voting procedures and issues on the ballot and most importantly, vote.

“Though the hours were long, the work was worth it,” said Patricia Cuarenta ’23, who spent two days volunteering at the Pasadena City College polling location. “It was an incredible experience to assist so many voters who came out to cast their ballots.”

The planning of LLS’s community engagement around the election, known as LLS Votes, began months ago. It included the organization of Election Week, which featured programming that set the backdrop of issues to be decided on this year’s ballot. Led by faculty and student organizations, these discussions helped to provide the community a place to hear opposing perspectives and debate on topics such as health law policy, state and local propositions and the LA County District Attorney race.

“Organizing LLS Votes was an incredible way to both serve our broader community and connect with our smaller law school community,” said Samantha Pannier ‘21. “As future lawyers, it was incumbent upon us to step up for the electoral system and our communities that needed our help to meet the demands of the pandemic. We’ve been inspired by the enthusiasm students had for this initiative, and we hope to maintain the relationships we’ve built with each other, election officials, election non-profits, and other law schools in the weeks and years to come.”

LLS faculty managed a busy schedule of media appearances, providing up-to-the-minute commentary on the day’s evolving stories and changes in the presidential race. Some of these highlights include: