The passions of election season are well upon us, and this year, more than many in memory, has a lot of us roiled with the pressing need to take action.

There are many ways to take political action, from the cheapest (post on social media) to the toughest and most personally taxing (run for office).

But what about taking action for democracy itself? What about stepping into the place where all of the boiling passions come to fruition in the most important moment in the electoral life of the nation — the polling place?

What about taking the time to help ensure that voters have the best possible experience of the democracy they are participating in?

... Most poll workers, some 85%, are over 65 and are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. The fact that the polls are gathering places for lots of people means that transmission is all but inevitable, despite the best precautions.

So who out there is ready to fill the gap or relieve older adults who have done their part and would be better off staying home this year?

No, it’s not marching in the streets or hashtagging our way to claps from the choir. It’s a quieter way of making a real difference in how long people stand in line to vote, how easily they are able to process their ballots, and, above all, how fair and free our elections really are.

Your preferred political party can also train you to be an election judge. Just contact your county’s party via their websites.

It goes without saying that democracies don’t run themselves. And the government doesn’t run them either. Citizens do. We need more of us to step up as citizens who care enough about the way our elections work that we will give our time to protect and enhance them.

— Houston Chronicle

Support the United Way

The ongoing pandemic has had a pronounced impact on virtually every corner of life since March. One segment of the community to feel the effects has been local nonprofit organizations.

On one hand, they’ve been unable to conduct traditional fundraising events and other campaigns designed to raise awareness about their important causes as a result of restrictions on the size of gatherings. On the other hand, a number of these vital organizations have experienced a dramatic uptick in the need for their services because of job loss and other factors.

They’ve been caught in the middle for months, doing their best to serve the community and continue to make a difference despite circumstances beyond their control.

In that spirit, one of the highest-profile nonprofits in the Panhandle, the United Way of Amarillo and Canyon, kicked off its 2020 campaign, recognizing the communitywide economic strain brought about by the coronavirus while pointing to the gaps filled by its 23 partner agencies.

While the havoc brought about by the virus outbreak has been significant, so also now is the need for people to once again step up and look out for their neighbors. Many times through the years people have responded with even greater generosity because it is likely they know someone firsthand whose life has been disrupted.

The local United Way is uniquely positioned to provide help and hope to those who need it most in the community. It has a long and successful track record of taking on difficult challenges and providing solutions that offer a helping hand to vulnerable and marginalized individuals.

We have deep respect and appreciation for the year-round work of the local United Way and we thank all of those who support the organization and its partners with their time, talent and treasure. Likewise, we encourage everyone to look at the United Way’s sizable community impact and consider supporting those efforts financially.

— Amarillo Globe-News

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