First-time voter helps change history

Published 9:00 pm Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Linda Passmore voted for the first time in the November 2008 election.

Until then, she had not had the desire to vote.

She was patriotic. She loved her country, “the greatest on earth.” She wasn’t indifferent to the world around her. She was part of it. She just didn’t vote.

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“My five children kept pushing me to vote but I didn’t,” she said. “But I read the Bible and I knew that God had a plan for all of us. I knew there would be a time when it was important for me to vote and, this election, it was time.”

“This time” an African American was running for president of the United States. That was something that Passmore believed would happen but probably not in her lifetime.

“If an African American was elected president, I wanted to be a part of it, a part of history, so I went and registered and voted,” she said. “I voted for the first black president of the United States and I helped elect him.”

Passmore said she is well aware that the African American vote alone could not have elected Barack Obama president of the United States.

“For him to win, he had to get a lot of white votes and he did,” she said. “That’s a sign that a lot of prejudice has been put to the side and that’s good. His mother was white and his daddy was black. I think that he got the mind of his mother and the will of his daddy. I think he will be a good president for all of us.”

“I don’t think that President Bush has done a bad job,” she said. “He’s a Christian and he was doing what he believed was the best thing to do. He was trying to do right but everything didn’t go right. People voted for a change because they wanted things to get better. They wanted our soldiers in Iraq to come home and they wanted the war to end and president elect-Obama said he would do that.”

Passmore said the war might be Obama’s first obstacle. “He said he would end the war quick and now he says it won’t be that quick,” she said. “It’s going to be hard to fix a lot of things that are wrong, the war and people without jobs and the economy the way it is. He’s got a lot of spill-over that has got to be fixed and we’re just going to have to understand that it’s going to take time to bring on change. I believe that Barack Obama is the one to do it and so did a lot of other people. I was so excited to sit in front of the television and watch this historic event.