(TheBlaze/AP) — A determined Florida centenarian who had to make two trips and wait several hours to vote for President Barack Obama last fall will sit with first lady Michelle Obama during Tuesday’s State of the Union.
102-year-old Desiline Victor of Miami says she endured a weather-delayed flight to Washington on Monday in order to get to town for Obama’s address, but she doesn’t mind. Among the honored guests to be seated with Mrs. Obama, she says the opportunity is a “a beautiful thing.”
Victor went to the polls on the first Sunday of early voting in Florida, and says she had to make two visits to her voting precinct– waited three hours on the first attempt– in order to cast her vote for Obama.
Her determination, despite the physical strain, inspired others to remain and endure up to six-hour waits, the Associated Press writes.
“I’m very happy, very proud,” she said, her nephew Mathieu Pierre-Louis translating for her from her native Creole.
But Victor says her vote, in particular, was special. She says she actually loves the president and will tell him if she gets a chance.
A farmworker from Haiti, Victor was born in 1910. She arrived in the U.S. in 1989 and was naturalized in 2005. She first voted in the 2008 presidential election and cast her ballot for Obama.
Judith Browne Dianis, co-director of the Advancement Project, a group that advocates for civil rights, said Victor’s story underscores the need to fix the voting system to ensure, among other things, that it accommodates elderly voters.
“It’s clear Ms. Victor’s story is a story that shows the tenacity of a voter to overcome barriers,” Davis said. “Unfortunately there were dozens who didn’t get to vote because of problems.”
According to the Washington Post, Victor has purchased a new coat in preparation for her trip. While the rest of the night may be formal and televised, Victor expects she’ll immediately feel comfortable around the president.
“I call him ‘my son,’ ” she explained. “I feel like he is my son.”
Michelle Obama has also invited someone affected by the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy to sit with her at the State of the Union, the Huffington Post has confirmed, though that person’s name has not yet been revealed.