For every year since 1927, TIME has selected the most influential person of the year. From presidentstoprotesters, astronauts to activists, each selection reflects the person—or idea—who has most influenced the news and our world in the past year, for good or ill.
In 2016, the news and our world were subject to a wide range of influences. A presidential campaign in the United States exposed deep-seated fissures and led to the election of a president without precedent in the nation’s history. Elsewhere, leaders like Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan commanded the spotlight on a global stage. But not all influence is institutional. This year, plenty of prominent athletes and artists used their platforms for larger causes, while a wide range of everyday people became powerful symbols for their fellow citizens.
As always, the ultimate decision about the person of the year is made by TIME’s editors, but the reader poll is an important window into who you think most shaped 2016. This is your chance to cast your vote: Who do you think influenced the news the most this year, for better or for worse?