Eric Shawn: More time for votes to count
Election security has improved since 2016, says Lawrence Norden of the Brennan Center for Justice.
Every vote counts.
One South Carolina voter, 102, has charmed the Internet after proudly casting her ballot. Former President Barack Obama has even praised her as an inspiration for all during this “important election” year.
Ora Smith recently voted in Hampton, as seen in photos that her great-nephew Dr. Quentin Youmans tweeted on the big day, The Chicago Sun-Times reports.
“At 102 years old, my great aunt, born the year of our last great pandemic, made her way to the ballot box to cast her vote. If she can do it, you can too!” Youmans wrote on Wednesday, in a post that has since gone viral with over 118,000 likes, 9,000 shares and thousands of comments — including well-wishes from the 44th president.
WORLD WAR II VETERAN CELEBRATED 102ND BIRTHDAY BY SKYDIVING
“102 never looked better!” Obama replied. “Grateful for all the folks like your aunt who continue to show up and vote in this important election.”
Celebrities including Kerry Washington, Mark Hamill, Wanda Sykes and Alexis Ohanian even chimed in, celebrating Smith.
"Bless this woman!" wrote Ohanian a co-founder of Reddit, pointing out that Black women did not have the right to vote when Smith was born, and didn’t “really” have the right to do so for decades, apparently alluding to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Inspired, other users also shared photos of their own elderly relatives in their 80s, 90s and 100s proudly voting this year.
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“I [love] her! Can we get a Zoom call with her and Bea Lumpkin?!" one fan said, rooting for a friendship between Smith and the 102-year-old retired teacher who recently went viral for voting by mail in a hazmat suit.
Meanwhile, Youmans said he’s been shocked with the overnight hype his great-aunt’s story has received, and that it was particularly epic for Obama to respond.
In a follow-up post, Youmans thanked fans for their well-wishes and described the public reaction as "incredible," sharing clippings from Chicago newspapers of the coverage.
According to her great-nephew, Smith was excited to vote this year and believes every election matters.
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“She had her mask on her lap and found it to be very important to be careful this year with the pandemic,” he told the Sun-Times. “But she also knows how important it is to vote and have our voices heard in the democratic process.”
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