Can’t slow these voters down
by Geoff Folsom
gfolsom@cherokeetribune.com
October 17, 2012 01:19 AM | 1344 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ninety-five-year-old Marietta resident Ruby S. Bridges fills out her November ballot with the help of her daughter, Susan Roach, on Sunday afternoon.<br>Staff/Todd Hull
Ninety-five-year-old Marietta resident Ruby S. Bridges fills out her November ballot with the help of her daughter, Susan Roach, on Sunday afternoon.
Staff/Todd Hull
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MARIETTA – Ruby S. Bridges has been slowed by two strokes, but nothing was going to stop the 95-year-old from casting her ballot in the presidential election.

“I still want to vote,” she said Sunday before filling out her mail-in ballot at the Golden LivingCenter nursing home near Kennestone hospital.

Bridges can’t remember the first time she voted but says she’s voted in every election she’s been eligible for. Since Georgians still had to be 21 to vote at the time, that would mean Bridges first voted in the 1940 election, in which Franklin Roosevelt won a third term by defeating Wendell Willkie.

“She and my dad taught us to vote,” her daughter, Susan Roach said. “We have always voted.”

As of Friday, 11,000 mail ballots had been requested in Cobb County, said Janine Eveler, the county’s elections director. Mail-in voting starts 45 days before the election, and the ballots must be turned in by Nov. 6, except for overseas or military ballots, which have to be postmarked by Election Day and in within three days after the election.

“We assist all voters, but if somebody has a question, and they don’t want to come in at early voting or the polls, we’ll offer them the mail-in ballot,” Eveler said.

But for seniors who can still make it to the polls, the county offers assistance. Eveler said state law requires that anyone who is 75 or older or is disabled can go to the front of the line between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. during advanced in-person voting, which starts today, or on Election Day.

Eveler said poll workers don’t require voters to tell them what their disability is, nor do they require them to show identification proving their age.

“We’re pretty lenient on that,” she said. “If somebody looks like they just need help, we’re going to let them come to the front of the line.”

Bridges, who grew up in Dallas, and lived on Garrison Road in Marietta for over 50 years, said she hasn’t always voted Republican, but she cast her ballot for Mitt Romney this time.

“She thinks he’ll get us back on the right track,” said Roach, a Kennesaw resident.

With women not eligible to vote until the 19th Amendment passed in 1920, Roach is proud that her family now has three generations of women voters, along with her 31-year-old daughter, Wendy Roach.

While Bridges wasn’t yet able to vote as a teenager, her daughter said she is now a bit of a “recycled teen.”

“She still has a good sense of humor and enjoys life,” Susan Roach said.
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