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You can add poll workers to the list of 2020 heroes. Over the last couple of months, there have been concerns about the coronavirus pandemic leading to a shortage of volunteers for the 2020 election. Poll workers are often older, and therefore at higher risk for the virus — nearly 60% of workers in the 2018 midterm election were over the age of 60, per the Pew Research Center.

But in places like Philadelphia, something amazing is going on: People are volunteering in record numbers. I’m not exaggerating! The city needed about 8,500 workers, but more than 20,000 people answered the call. Similar efforts are taking place all over the country. These days may feel dark, but damn it’s inspiring to see people show up for democracy.

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Andrea González-Ramírez

Award-winning Puerto Rican journalist. Senior Writer at New York Magazine’s The Cut. Formerly GEN, Refinery29, and more. Read my work: