Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Best Voting Story

Intent on voting, Pa. woman, 95, calls 911

Anna Urban has been voting since Franklin D. Roosevelt was president and wasn't about to miss an election.

When the 95-year-old Reading resident didn't have a ride to the polls Tuesday, she didn't hesitate. She dialed 911.

Dispatchers forwarded the call to the Berks County Election Services office, where it was considered a compliment.

"To call 911 and ask for help to vote really says a lot," said Deborah M. Olivieri, election services director. "It meant a lot to everyone in this office; it made us feel what we do is worthwhile."

County Commissioner Judith L. Schwank immediately picked up Urban, and Urban walked to the voting booth at Millmont Elementary School on her arm.

"All my life I voted," said Urban, a Democrat, who cast her first ballot in the 1930s. "You need to vote to be a good citizen."

(I know, I know. I should be concerned that she called 911. It is an emergency line that should only be used for true emergencies. But this story says so much to me. Previous generations really understand how important it is to vote. They understand the sacrifices and courage that earned us all the right to vote. I've read stories of husbands and wives that would drive miles to the polls, only to cast opposite votes that canceled each other out. But they knew that voting was more than pulling a lever. It is the embodiment of so much that is great about our country. So thank you, Ms. Anna Urban, for reminding us all that voting is a responsibility, and nothing should get in our way when we are called to the polls.)

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