83-Year-Old East Texan Votes For First Time - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/27/04-Yantis

83-Year-Old East Texan Votes For First Time

This year's highly contested presidential election has motivated one East Texan to exercise her right to vote for the first time.
Juanita Pate of Yantis said she just could not let another election pass without casting a ballot.
"Nobody persuaded me, nobody told me anything," Juanita said, "I just made my own mind up to vote for him."
The 83-year-old cast her vote for the first time in 65 years of voting eligibility.
"When I went up there," she said, "I felt like I was queen for a day for a little while because they were all so excited that I was as old as I was and first time to ever vote."
Born in 1922, Juanita said she was raised to be a simple wife, with southern family values. The mother of six says she never worried much about politics.
"I was busy raising a family and just never did think a whole lot about it. We lived out in the country, most of my time."
When she reached voting age, Juanita was busy raising two boys. She did not cast a vote in 11 presidential elections.
"There were some of them we were glad to see them elected and then some of them, I was in church and active duty in church, so I just never did pry on too much of that."
After all these years Juanita checked a ballot, deciding who she wants to lead the country.
"All of a sudden when I began to see the President making speeches and seeing that, I just decided to vote for him on my own."
"I really feel like you know, I've accomplished something. My vote may not amount to anything, but I feel that I did my part."
One vote in a sea of many that will decide the country's future.
In the November 2000 presidential election, 65 percent of adults 75 and older voted. Sixty percent of all eligibile voters cast their ballots in 2000.

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com

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