Tuesday, July 10, 2012
At 105 years old, Harrodsburg woman planning to vote for first time in 84 years
Alison Lundergan Grimes (left) with Margaret Harris
Margaret Harris of Harrodsburg hasn’t voted in an election in 84 years.
But with the help of Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes and Mercer County Clerk Chris Horn, the 105-year old registered to vote last week and is now eligible to participate in the November 2012 presidential election.
Harris was born in 1906, 14 years before women were guaranteed the right to vote. She cast her first and only ballot in the 1928 presidential election. She said it felt good to vote then and that she and her family are happy she’ll be able to do it again this year.
“Every vote counts, and no one who is eligible to vote should be prevented from doing so because of factors related to age, disability or illness,” said Grimes, Kentucky’s chief advocate for civic engagement. “I know how important it is and was to my grandmothers to vote, and I know they are proud that I was able to help Mrs. Harris register and educate her about absentee voting.”
For those interested in Harris’ secret to a long life, she credits three things: God, family and work. She has lived in Harrodsburg since she was 10 years old. Fittingly, Harrodsburg is Kentucky’s oldest city, and Harris lives on its oldest street. She has been a member of the same church, where she also attended school, since moving to Harrodsburg and is still a constant there every Sunday.
Harris worked in Harrodsburg for 37 years and is the matriarch of five generations. She raised nine children, and she is especially proud that each of her five sons served in the military. She has more than 50 grandchildren and 50 great-grandchildren and nearly 20 great-great-grandchildren – all of whom reportedly rave about her cooking and give glowing reviews of her fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, candied yams, and corn pudding.
Since retiring, Harris has spent time traveling across the United States with her daughter Mary. She lives independently and still does some of her own cooking.
“Mrs. Harris has been a fixture in her community for nearly a century, and by voting in the upcoming election, she will add to her already impressive legacy for its future,” said Grimes. “I hope her example inspires others to take an active role in elections and shaping the path of our state and nation.”
The deadline to register to vote in the November 2012 presidential election is Oct. 9, 2012. Individuals interested in registering to vote should visit sos.ky.gov.
From Ky. Secretary of State