102-year-old goes viral after voting early: 'This is a true patriot!'

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By RADIO.COM

A 102-year-old voter is turning heads and inspiring others, including former President Barack Obama.

South Carolina centenarian Ora Smith went viral after casting her vote in the upcoming election.

Her nephew, Quentin Youmas, tweeted the image, which garnered more than 20,000 retweets.

“102 never looked better! Grateful for all the folks like your great aunt who continue to show up and vote in this important election,” Obama tweeted.

"This is a true patriot. This is what America is about," Youmans told "Good Morning America."

"I think people were inspired that at her age, with all she's seen, she recognizes the power of the vote,” he added.

Smith, who was born in 1918 during the Spanish flu pandemic, has voted in every election.

As she lives through yet another pandemic, she still made it a priority to vote.

Kay Williams, a niece of Smith’s, took the photo and told the outlet that she initially shared it on Facebook for friends and family to see. She never expected that it would garner so much attention and respect.

"That was an emotional experience," said Williams. "She's just a wonderful lady, quite an independent 102-year-older. We as a family are very blessed to have her around."

Smith isn’t the first 102-year-old to exercise her right to vote this year.

Beatrice Lumpkin – dressed in a hazmat-type pandemic protection hood designed by her grandson — dropped her ballot in the mailbox across the street from her apartment building in early October.

The first presidential candidate Lumpkin ever voted for was FDR. That was in 1940, and she said she’s never missed a vote since.

She says it was important to vote this year despite the pandemic to honor women’s rights as women weren’t allowed to vote when she was born.

“And second, because it’s the most important election of my lifetime. The very future of democracy is on the line,” she added.

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