WASHINGTON -- Desiline Victor, a 102-year-old Miami woman who waited for hours to vote in the last election, got a standing ovation from the nation's top leaders during President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night. Victor attended the State of the Union as a guest of first lady Michelle Obama.
"When she arrived at her polling place, she was told the wait to vote might be six hours," the president said. "And as time ticked by, her concern was not with her tired body or aching feet, but whether folks like her would get to have their say. Hour after hour, a throng of people stayed in line in support of her. Because Desiline is 102 years old. And they erupted in cheers when she finally put on a sticker that read 'I Voted.'"
Obama announced the formation of a presidential commission to examine Election Day problems during his speech on Tuesday. The Advancement Project, which said it brought Victor's story to the attention of the White House, said her experience demonstrated why voting problems need to be addressed.
“Ms. Victor’s story of waiting for hours to vote is both inspirational and tragic at the same time,” Advancement Project Co-Director Judith Browne Dianis said in a statement. “Thousands applauded her when she emerged with her ‘I Voted’ sticker and her dedication was the reason why many of them decided to stick it out despite the long wait. What we need however, are federal standards for voting. Unfortunately, we have 13,000 election jurisdictions that run elections 13,000 different ways. That is what we have to fix.”