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Archive for Sunday, October 22, 2000

104-year-old registers to cast her first vote

Resident marks form with proud ‘X’

October 22, 2000

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— It took Minnie McDade 104 years to get to the courthouse to register to vote.

Not able to read or write, she signed the registration form at the Wyandotte County Courthouse Annex with an "X" this week.

Beverly Bushnell, assistant election commissioner, said the staff was unsure whether the "X" was acceptable. But she looked it up, and confirmed that it was legal as long as McDade could signify her understanding in some way, whether it was a nod of the head or an "X."

McDade, accompanied by her granddaughter, Arreta Lever, walked from the parking lot, through the first floor, to the second floor and all the way to the back where the clerk's office is located.

"Minnie seemed to be a very sweet lady," Bushnell said. "She had sparkling eyes."

When McDade was done, Bushnell thanked her for being so patient, to which McDade replied, "Be sweet."

Lever, 67, has voted in every primary and general election.

"Haven't missed a one yet," she said.

Lever said voting has always been important to her. "It's your right. You got to get somebody in there to help," she said.

Lever said she watched the debate Tuesday and liked some of what she heard from both candidates, but was leaning toward Vice President Al Gore.

"I always vote Democratic," she said.

Lever said her grandmother was born in Baton Rouge, La., lived in Arkansas and raised two daughters. When her husband died in 1967, she came to live with Lever in the northeast area of Kansas City, Kan.

"And has been ever since," she said.

Lever said the ballot will be mailed to her house, and she will help her grandmother fill it out.

And when the time comes, her grandmother will be able to understand she is voting.

"She will be voting Democratic all the way," Lever said.

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