Posted: Nov 7, 2012 5:33 PM by Mitch Bryan
Updated: Nov 7, 2012 6:47 PM
KINGSVILLE - There is a woman in Kingsville who is living proof that there is no excuse to not go vote on election night. Willa Bess Bowden is 104 years old and today she spoke with our Mitch Bryan about the importance of getting to the polls.
Taken back by the news that Obama won last night's election, Willa Bess Bowden exclaimed, "Oh, God help us."
104 year old Willa Bess Bowden is not shy about sharing her political views. A dedicated Conservative, Bowden hasn't missed a single election since she turned 18 years old back in 1922. I asked her if she remembered the very first presidential election she voted in. But she couldn't recall.
"That's been a long time ago," she laughed.
After a bit of date checking, I discovered that Willa Bess would have voted for the very first time back in 1924, when presidential incumbent, Calvin Coolidge defeated John W. Davis for the White House. It was only the 2nd election since the 19th Amendment allowed women to vote and she even remembers paying a poll tax for her ballot!
And she says she has no sympathy for those who don't get out to the polling booth.
"But what about those people who, now that it's free, still didn't go out and vote," I asked her.
Bowden replied, "That's a disgrace isn't it? They deserve what they get."
With nearly 22 elections under her belt, Bowden has never missed a chance to vote, but this year, she almost didn't go.
"And I thought, well, I just won't vote this year. So, Dannielle said no, I think we will," she said.
Granddaughter Dannielle Bowden drove Willa Bess down to the Kingsville Courthouse where they offered curbside voting to the elderly. And Bowden's record continues.
And even though her candidate did not win *this* election, she told me that at least she has "won the right to complain for the next 4 years."
Willa Bess will turn 105 this Thanksgiving Day, and she says if she's still around, she'll vote again in 4 years.
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