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Voting Early, Voting Often No More

By Shannon in News on Feb 25, 2007 7:45PM

vote!Chicagoist has voting on the brain, which is only natural considering Tuesday's upcoming mayoral and aldermanic (or is that aldermaniac?) elections. Have you voted early? No? For shame. For those that haven't ... well, we'll see you in line.

One person who won't be making it this year is Amazon Brooks. Brooks had the distinction of being the oldest registered voter in Chicago, according to the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners. She passed away on Friday at the stunning age of 109 in a nursing home on the South Side.

Brooks was originally born in Arcola, Mississippi in 1897 and migrated to Chicago when she was a teen. She got work at the Congress Hotel as a chambermaid; during the 1933 World's Fair, she switched employment to a laundry facility that supplied towels and sheets to hotels. After the suffrage movement made it possible for women to vote, she did so in her first election in 1920, and has voted in almost every election since. What's more, she voted a straight Democratic ticket starting with FDR in 1932. Friends said she looked forward to elections, often voting early. 'Twas not the case this time; last November's election was the last one she took part in, falling to a stroke soon after.

The more we read about Mrs. Brooks, the more we like her: She outlived two husbands and a son. She joined the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in 1938, remaining a member for 69 years. Age didn't slow her down; she taught Sunday School into her 90s. And when given nutritional advice at 91 by a doctor, she scoffed, "You haven't gotten to be 91 years of age. Until you do, you don't tell me what I can eat and can't eat." You tell 'em, sister. Here's hoping she's punching those ballots in a better place.

Image courtesy of runjenrun01.