By Allison Brito

Desiline Victor, 102-Year-Old Voter, Invited To State Of The Union

February 12, 2013 8:20 pm Category: Memo Pad 20 Comments A+ / A-

During his State of the Union address, President Obama to discussed the economy, jobs, climate change, gun control, and immigration. And in accordance with tradition he cited stories from individuals and families he has met, many of whom sat in the House gallery as guests of Michelle Obama.

Among the First Lady’s guests were Staff Sergeant Clinton Romesha, who was just awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery while serving in Afghanistan in 2009; Kaitlin Roig, a first-grade teacher who survived the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School; and the parents of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15 year girl who was recently killed in Chicago as a result of gun violence, among others. One of the most interesting (and oldest) guests in the Capitol will be Desiline Victor, a 102-year-old Haitian immigrant and devout Obama supporter.

In November, Victor was waiting for her turn to vote at her local library when, after three hours in line, like anyone, the elderly woman became tired and was asked by poll workers to return later that night to vote. The determined “Granny,” as she is known in her hometown, returned and was finally able to cast her vote for President Obama.

Her determination encouraged other voters to withstand the long lines to do their civic duty. A farmworker who emigrated from Haiti in 1989, Victor has lived in Florida since. “She just wants everyone to know she wants everyone to vote,” said her nephew, Mathieu Pierre-Louis, who translated her words from Creole.

Voting laws in Florida again came under scrutiny after the 2012 election, when the Republican-controlled state legislature passed laws to deliberately create obstacles for voters who were likely to vote for a Democratic candidate. In addition to measures that limited third-party organizations from registering voters and restricted certain absentee ballots, the 2011 Florida voting laws created long lines at the polls when the early voting time frame was cut from two weeks to eight days.

This did not deter Victor and the many voters she inspired. At the State of the Union, she will not only represent the growing importance surrounding improving voting laws across the country, but she also serves as a great example of the democratic determination of many naturalized immigrants coming to this country.

(Photo Courtesy of the Advancement Project)

Desiline Victor, 102-Year-Old Voter, Invited To State Of The Union Reviewed by on . During his State of the Union address, President Obama to discussed the economy, jobs, climate change, gun control, and immigration. And in accordance with trad During his State of the Union address, President Obama to discussed the economy, jobs, climate change, gun control, and immigration. And in accordance with trad Rating:

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  • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

    As remarkable as Ms. Victor’s commitment was, what this issue brought to light is the inadequacy of our Third World voting system. How come we have not embraced the technologies that are available and the new concepts used so effectively in industry to expediate the voting process, limit the probability of fraud and reduce cost? Waiting 6 hours in line to vote is as embarrassing as the 19th century telephone poles we rely upon for energy distribution.

    • http://www.facebook.com/fern.woodfork Fern Woodfork

      We Can Thank Our GOP/Tea Party American Taliban for The Long Waits And Surprise Surprise They Were The Only Ones Caught In Voter Fraud 6 Times Mind You, Cause Lying, Pulling Dirty Tricks, Cheating And Stealing Is Now The Only Way They Can Win!!!

  • nana4gj

    I was thrilled that the President chose to highlight ALL of the many, many voters who stood in line for hours and hours, went back and forth, jumped through all kinds of hoops, to exercise their right to vote, in spite of all the attempts of over 3 months to be disenfranchised. I thought the American Voter should have been TIME’s Person of The Year.

    And it was fitting that he chose Ms. Victor, 102 years old, to represent that Voter.

  • ktheaterlady

    You mean noone could have let this 102 year old woman go to the front of the line? Rude.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Wanda-Leverette/1101695192 Wanda Leverette

      My thought exactly! Instead of asking her to go home and come back, she should have been led to the front of the line, especially since everyone in town knows her as “Granny”.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/5PUZIV3SZ5AZA4CCAZUZCTEIDA Carol Jackson

        I second that motion as well. That seemed so selfish, not to let this women get in the front of the line. I know, I would have spoken up if that was my grandmother or relative. For that matter if I was present and knew of her presence I would have asked someone for some assistance….dang some ppl really are a trip without the luggage. omg!

        • amazonfan

          If it was my grandmother, she wouldn’t have needed me to speak up, she would do it herself. :D

      • amazonfan

        That’s what I was thinking. I couldn’t believe how nobody offered to take her to the front of the line. Incredible.

    • http://www.facebook.com/blake.faulkner.7 Blake Faulkner

      I think you missed the point ktheaterlady. And I doubt if she would have accepted such an offer…Because she obviously has a lot of character and wisdom and determination. I’m guessing she identified with everyone in that voting waiting line…and would not have wanted ‘special’ treatment. I’m also guessing she knows only too well in her long lifetime of observations while living in Haiti…what having an oligarchic government composed of or dominated by a remote, entrenched mega-rich class of corrupt, ruthless people is like as well. In a country with almost no middle-class…Which suits oligarchies just fine.

      • jarheadgene

        Are you any relation to William Faulkner….one of my favorite authors of all time?

      • http://www.lebanon-dems.org SgtCedar

        Having lived as a farm worker she is probably in better physical health at 102 than most of the people in the line to vote.

  • roguerunners

    Here in Oregon we vote by mail. This is the way it should be done in all states. This would pump some life into the U.S. Postal system as well.

  • mbm

    While I recognize the silly partisan game of not standing or clapping when your friends don’t. It is not cool to stand out from the rest. But come on! Not standing for the 102 year old American woman who both honorably demonstrated and shamefully pointed out what it means for many to be an American citizen today! Boehner and his cronies not only showed partisan politics at their worst, they just showed bad manners.

    • Siegfried Heydrich

      If it were not for bad manners, the Republicans would have no manners at all . . .

  • jarheadgene

    The P.O.S. G.O.P. should be ashamed of themselves…..VERY …VERY ASHAMED for attempting all the voter disenfranchisement this past election cycle. Many of us have served in the armed forces and fought in wars to insure Americans maintain their preciously held freedoms. And I for one am completely disgusted by the actions of the P.O.S. G.O.P. as they dishonor those who serve/have served and support those who serve. The P.O.S. G.O.P. needs to go down in flames, “WE the PEOPLE” should be “So done with them” by now. DITCH Mitch, CAN Cantor, and “Throw [Boehner] out of the bar !”

  • Pingback: The National Memo » Who’s The Worst Possible Person To Chair A Voting Commission?

  • CQ

    Those voters the Republicans want to disqualify from voting are those who are not legal voters. We do NOT want to disenfranchise anyone who is a legal voter, no matter who they vote for.

    • GrannyKits

      You have obviously been drinking the Republican “obstruct the Vote” cool-aid, rather than researching the true numbers of fraudulent votes that are actually ever cast.

  • Pamby50

    When The President told us about Ms Victor and her struggle to vote, I was so upset with all the crap people had to go through just to vote. When she heard her name, she tried to get up to acknowledge she heard. People in the box told her it would be ok to remain seated. That did not excuse the republicans on the floor to remain in their seats.

    The republicans want you to believe that voter fraud is running rampant throughout the country. That is why we need voter ID laws. Sorry when under oath in court they couldn’t site one case of voter fraud. They just want people who only believe what they belive in to vote. That is the differnce between a democrat and a republican. We want everyone to vote. They only want a few to vote.

    So stay vigilant democrats. I’m sure Ms Victor would want us to keep exercising this right. Don’t let your guard down. They will do another sneak attack at our right to vote when we are looking.

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