Wheelchair voter was inspirational

To the Editor:

Each time I work the polls, I am amazed at the pride and American spirit of the individuals who take their responsibility to vote and be heard seriously.  I particularly like working the school-district voting polls, as many more parents take their children along to teach them about the process than in the general election.

This year, working as a poll inspector at Westmere Elementary School, I witnessed the most amazing sight.  A very upbeat, positive woman came in to vote.  She had a radiant smile that just made you smile and feel like you were on top of the world.

You could easily tell she radiated confidence and an air of appreciation for all the blessings she did have, rather than focusing on what was missing. Looking at her, you would have quickly seen she hadn’t been dealt the best hand of cards in life.  She happened to be in a wheelchair.  She had no legs and her arms ended before what would have been her elbows.  However, that did not stop her from voting and exercising her civic duty. 

At the same time this woman was voting, a father came in to vote with his son of about 7 or 8 years of age.  In a truly Norman Rockwell moment, you could see this boy peering from his father’s ballot-marking booth to see how this woman, with no hands, accomplished filling out her ballot two booths down.

Then he watched in amazement as she took her completed ballot to the scanning machine and fed it into the voting machine.  He had this most beaming smile on his face, when he saw how she did this.

I really wish I was able to get her name.  I really want to tell her in person how she inspired me, that young boy, and others in the room that day.  I am hoping she or someone she knows will tell me her name.  I would love to hear her story and ask her if she would be willing to share her story with my fellow Toastmasters and Ambitious Women club members.

Nellie Goutos


Editor’s note: Nellie Goutos wanted her email address printed so the woman she wrote of could get in touch with her: [email protected].

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