"I decided I was going to vote."

I love the smell of democracy in the morning!
Laura Little Walker cast an early vote for Barack Obama.

Nevermind that she's never cast a ballot in her 92 years, or that her great-grandson is also voting for the first time.

What's important, Walker said, is that she voted.

...Walker's vote wasn't made in haste. In the beginning of her electoral process, Walker asked her family for information on the Chicago senator. Relatives compiled the political information that Walker now keeps in a hunter-green binder next to her living room recliner. In it are copies of newspaper and Internet articles, downloaded information about the senator from family, copies of his speeches and printouts of portions of his proposed plans and policies. Inked notes are in the margins of some of the papers where Walker has been reading.

"I don't hear very good and I don't see very good," she said. "But I have a good idea of what's going on."

What is it about Obama that pushed Walker to vote?

"I heard him speak," she said. "I decided he's a man that will go places and maybe get us out of this mess we're in. So I decided I was going to vote."

One of Walker's daughters, Betty Mundell, said when Obama hit the airwaves, he had Walker's full attention.

"She wouldn't let us forget there was a debate on," Mundell said. "Once she decided to vote, she wanted to learn everything she could."

Another of Walker's daughters, Margaret Daily, said that she unaware that her mother had never voted.

"I knew she hadn't voted in the past several years," Daily said.

In Walker's lifetime, Americans have witnessed the Great Depression, the deaths of presidents, the destruction of countries, and race-related tensions between all walks of life. The historical decision the nation will make Tuesday - whether it elects the first African-American president or the first female vice-president - isn't any better or worst than decisions other generations have faced. Walker said her decision to vote is simple.

"He'll be a great president," she said.
I certainly hope so.

Sent to me by Shaker LM, who notes: "For those of you that aren't familiar with Frankfort, it is a rural, industrial, Republican strong hold. For some reason, her pic isn't on the website but [on the broadcast] she was smiling big and holding her folder with all of her Obama material in it."

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