A 102-year-old Florida woman who waited in line for hours to cast her ballot last fall joined First Lady Michelle Obama at tonight’s State of the Union address.
Desiline Victor participated in early voting in Florida, and waited for three hours to cast her ballot on Oct. 28 at a public library in Miami-Dade county when other voters standing in line complained to election staffers. Others in her state waited as many as seven hours to vote, and according to analysis from an Ohio State University professor, about 200,000 voters gave up and left because of those waits.
Victor, a Haitian-born former farm worker, became a U.S. citizen in 2005, casting her first vote for president in 2008. Asked how she feels about attending the event, she said, “I’m very happy, very proud.”
Many see her attendance as a strong clue that President Obama will address the issue of voter access he spoke about in his election night acceptance speech. The words “we have to fix that” sparked what many hope will be a strong voting rights push in the president’s second term.
Florida Republicans passed legislation shortening the early vote period from 14 to 8 days, a move many believe had disproportionate impact on minority voters trying to cast ballots.