October 15, 2021

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Not even a international pandemic could prevent this 102-calendar year-previous from voting in this election

5 min read
Lumpkin, a former Chicago community university instructor, dressed in personal protective tools from head to toe to drop off her ballot for the 2020 presidential election at the mailbox final 7 days. The Chicago Academics Union, of which she was a member, shared the impression.
At her age, Bea’s at high danger for getting seriously ill if she contracted coronavirus. But she would hardly ever have missed her chance to vote. She urges every single registered voter in the US to physical exercise their correct, as well.

“The most crucial rationale to vote in this election is that you can find so a great deal at stake, more than any other vote I’ve forged, due to the fact of the wonderful challenge to the survival of our democracy,” Lumpkin explained to CNN.

If she could vote this year, so can everyone who’s registered, she mentioned. And the retired educator appreciates better than most the worth of voting. Here’s why Bea Lumpkin, very pleased voter and centenarian, claims it is really so essential to vote in 2020.

There’s a great deal on the line

Numerous of the problems Bea cares about are specifically suitable in 2020: well being treatment, racism and climate change between them. She thinks in wellness care for each and every American she wants to see reforms in regulation enforcement to stop brutality and racism in policing and she warns of the destruction wrought by local weather improve, these as the wildfires that burned down her son’s California dwelling.
She’s also quite about dwelling by means of the pandemic, and she disagrees with the methods in which science has been undermined by the President and other federal officers billed with foremost the pandemic response. She the moment taught biology, she said, and she’s a “fantastic respecter” of the developments experts have manufactured since her birth.

“I am ill and weary of this pandemic, and we’ll by no means get rid of it unless we follow the knowledge of so quite a few other nations, of the suggestions of science,” she stated.

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She misses her day-to-day excursions to her nearby YMCA, where she’d work out day-to-day in advance of the pandemic. She misses hugging her grandkids and seeing her good friends and receiving out of the property each when and awhile.

Her hairdo has also suffered as a consequence of the pandemic, she suggests.

“I have on my hair short, and it is really so long now — it’s likely down my back!” she joked.

2020 is also, she factors out, the 100th anniversary of the 19th Modification, which granted women (mainly White women of all ages, at the time) the suitable to vote. A lifelong feminist, Bea encourages women of all ages to vote not only to mark that anniversary but to guard their legal rights.

“Women of all ages continue to have so several further factors to vote since in this election, all legal rights that ladies have received in the hundred-odd a long time I’ve been on earth — they are all on the line,” she claimed. “But then, this combat for our rights is considerably more mature than we are — it is really even more mature than I am.”

Voting by mail was straightforward, she says

In a common election 12 months, Bea would vote early, normally at the YMCA wherever she labored out every day pre-pandemic. But this calendar year, it was most secure for her to vote by mail, she reported.

Her ballot was acquired inside of 48 hours of submission, a system she tracked on-line, she mentioned. It was a swift and basic way to vote, and she’s sporting a major “I Voted” button this 7 days to celebrate.

She is aware of several voters are nervous about mail-in voting because of to the misinformation that surrounds it, so she encourages voting early to keep away from crowds on Election Day. She’s observed lines for early voting in Chicago stretch all-around an total town block — and she’s “quite proud of all people coming out,” she claims.

2020 could possibly be the most important election of her lifetime

Lumpkin has lived — and voted — by some of the most pivotal intervals in American heritage: the Excellent Despair and Globe War II, the civil rights movement and the conclusion of segregation, the Vietnam War, the Chilly War, threats of terrorism and economical crises to the existing, with issues now on how the US will emerge from the pandemic.

It’s necessary to vote this yr to decide what that upcoming will appear like, she suggests.

Lumpkin, a staunch supporter of labor unions, makes a stage about prosperity inequality in the US as one particular motive to vote — “You’re not getting the price of the perform you do. So except if you have every little thing, it’s to your fascination to have more equality.”

And in spite of all the agony of this calendar year, she’s hopeful for the foreseeable future.

“There’s a risk of correcting so many of the wrongs if we have an mind-boggling vote for our democratic legal rights,” she explained. “We you should not want to just restore what we had right before. And people who aren’t interested in voting usually consider it’s not heading to make a variance. And this time it can make this kind of a significant distinction, not only in blocking the reduction of the freedoms that we do have … but we can gain so a lot. You can find so significantly fantastic in men and women that could come out if it had the probability.”

As for the result of the 2020 election, she’s each “fearful to dying” and “psyched about the chance of developing a a great deal improved place.”

“I want to see every person who’s coming out to vote to remain involved in the procedure — that is the way we can make massive advancements for performing individuals,” she mentioned.

She’s specially very pleased of American youth, whom she thinks will fight for a honest future.

“I have terrific self-confidence in youthful individuals, and I know they are likely to do what needs to be carried out,” she explained. “So hooray for the youth!”

She’s got decades on this election’s to start with-time voters, but at 102, Bea’s carried out her good share for democracy, far too.

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