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Voter Registration: Not Just for Young People

By Cathy on

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Helping seniors stay involved in politics is an important part of OFA volunteer D’Norgia’s life. Now that she’s retired, D’Norgia visits nursing homes and helps residents register and vote—especially those who can’t easily read the forms and ballots. Blindness caused by diabetes is a common problem for seniors, especially in the African American community.

“Some of the people I visit couldn’t register to vote in the South when they were younger, in many cases the law didn’t allow it. Now it’s hard to register because age and illness have obscured their sight,” said D'Norgia.

Despite challenges, these folks haven’t lost their pride or dignity. D’Norgia chats with each person she meets at the nursing home, gets to know them, and eases them into the voter registration process.

One of the seniors D’Norgia works with is 95-year-old Luaudrey S., who originally came from Texas to Portland to work as a welder in the Kaiser shipyard. Luaudrey has been around for quite a few elections and appreciates the opportunity to stay involved in politics today. "The first president I voted for was FDR. I never thought there'd be a person of color in the White House. Finally, in my 90's I got to see that happen,” said Luaudrey.

Luaudrey could easily have been left out of the political process when she lost her sight and moved into the nursing home, however, thanks to D’Norgia and volunteers like her, she wasn’t.

Every vote counts. You can help adults of any age register to vote. We’ll provide all the training you need. Click here to get involved now, or find out about team meetings in your local neighborhood.

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