The 2020 Election was unprecedented in its challenges, candidates, and levels of voter participation. Political scientists have played an invaluable role in providing context, facts, and a rich analysis and understanding throughout the campaign and election season often characterized by uncertainty. Thus, the American Political Science Association (APSA) would like to applaud the important and valuable work done by members of the discipline to encourage civic engagement, support free, fair, and healthy elections, and much more. This research, teaching and civic engagement of our members also underscores the critical role of higher education, the social sciences, and the humanities in promoting civic education and engagement of the citizenry.
We look forward to making expertise and scholarly insight available to elected officials, as political science research can help address many of the country’s most pressing challenges, including providing insight on effective strategies for elected officials and public health officials to employ in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic and evidence-based research on broadening and deepening participation in our democracy including free and fair elections, race, ethnicity and gender politics, addressing systemic racism, and improving national security. The election of Joe Biden as president and Kamala Harris as vice-president is also historic. Vice President-Elect Harris is the first woman, the first Black person and first South Asian person to be elected as vice president. Political science research also highlights the importance of an orderly transition between the current president and the president-elect for national security and the integrity of our democratic process. We strongly and unequivocally support such an orderly transition, for the good of the country and the world.
APSA’s RAISE the Vote and Democracy 2020 projects highlighted just some of the expertise, scholarship, and initiatives that political scientists undertook to strengthen civic engagement and civic education in the run-up to the election. This election year and beyond, APSA celebrates the public contributions of political scientists, who have undertaken this work amidst increased professional and personal burdens because of the COVID-19 pandemic.