TIME asked readers to vote for who they thought should make the 2020 TIME100 list, an annual compilation of the world’s most influential people. Nathan Law, a leading pro-democracy activist and the youngest lawmaker in Hong Kong’s history, took first place in TIME’s poll with 3.8% of the 4.7 million votes cast by readers.
Law made news in July when he revealed that he fled Hong Kong after China imposed a new, controversial national security law making separatism, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign countries criminal offenses—an attempt at cracking down on Hong Kong protests.
Though the movement continues in Hong Kong, the security law and COVID-19 have slowed pro-democracy efforts. Most of the world has been severely impacted by COVID-19 and nearly 200,000 people in the U.S. are dead. Globally, more than 900,000 people have died. Health Care workers on the frontlines battling the virus received the second-highest percentage of TIME reader votes with 3.7%, followed by essential workers who received 3.4% of the vote.
Before the coronavirus upended lives all around the world this year, all eyes were on Australia. Between September 2019 and March 2020, more than 17 million hectares (more than 42 million acres) of land were burned in sweeping bushfires across Australia, and 33 people died. Australian firefighters received 3.2% of the vote from readers. Of the 33 who died, 9 were firefighters, according to the Australian Parliament.
2020 has not only been a year marked by a global pandemic and natural disaster. After Minneapolis police officers killed George Floyd on May 25, a movement for racial justice, years—even centuries—in the making, swept across the U.S. and in parts of the world. Black Lives Matter protesters received 2.5% of the total votes.
Ultimately, TIME editors select the 100 most influential people of the year, and will announce the full list during a televised special on Sept. 22 at 10 p.m. on ABC.
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