Michigan officials launched a campaign aiming to recruit 30,000 poll workers for the November 3rd election, resulting in an overwhelming response from students at the University of Michigan and other colleges around the state.
A shortage of poll workers due to public health concerns has prompted college students across the country to step up and volunteer for the November 3rd election – especially in Michigan, where an effort to recruit 30,000 workers resulted in an overwhelming response from students at the University of Michigan and other colleges around the state.
Nineteen-year-old Annika Helenberger is a first-time voter and public health student at the University of Michigan, who volunteered to work at the city clerk’s on-campus satellite office where students, faculty and staff can vote.
"I think a really important part of elections, and then just democracy in general, is accessibility and making things easier for everyone to vote because everyone's vote matters and I want everyone to feel that way.
So, when I heard about the satellite office opportunity and just being able to work with the election in general, I thought it was a great way for me to be an active citizen towards things." The need for poll workers in swing state Michigan is critical as the state has implemented a law, passed in 2018, that allows voters to request absentee ballots without giving any reason.
A record 3 million absentee ballots were requested for the general election.
That’s a lot of counting for folks like Ann Arbor city clerk Jacqueline Beaudry and her staff – particularly challenging given that many older workers who’ve volunteered in years past have chosen to stay home out of concern for their health.
"A lot of young people have offered to help us with the satellite office and also to help count ballots on Election Day.
So, where we did have some gaps, we were able, with the university's help, to recruit a lot of new young workers." College students also helped with the additional prep, which included inserting plexiglass between staff and voters – as, despite the challenging times, historic voter turnout is expected.
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Scientists have found that insulin has met an evolutionary cul-de-sac, limiting its ability to adapt to obesity and thereby rendering most people vulnerable to Type 2 diabetes. A recent study from scientists at Indiana University School of Medicine, the University of Michigan and Case Western Reserve University has determined that the sequence of insulin has become entrenched at the edge of impaired production, an intrinsic vulnerability unmasked by rare mutations in the insulin gene causing diabetes in childhood. The study exploits biophysical concepts and methods to relate protein chemistry to the emerging field of evolutionary medicine. Insulin is produced by a series of highly specific processes that occur in specialised cells, called beta cells. A key step is the folding of a biosynthetic precursor, called proinsulin, to achieve the hormone's functional three-dimensional structure. Past studies from this and other groups have suggested that impaired biosynthesis could be the result of diverse mutations that hinder the foldability of proinsulin. This group sought to determine if the evolution of insulin in vertebrates--including humans--has encountered a roadblock. According to the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the answers are yes and yes."Biological processes ordinarily evolve to be robust, and this protects us in the majority of cases from birth defects and diseases," said Michael Weiss, MD, PhD, Distinguished Professor at IU School of Medicine and lead investigator of the study. "Yet diabetes seems to be an exception."Weiss and team looked at a subtle mutation in human insulin in relation to the insulins of other animals, such as cows and porcupines. The mutant human insulin functions within the range of natural variation among animal insulins, and yet this mutation has been excluded by evolution.
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