In an election season full of anger and divisiveness, it’s easy to lose sight of just how important and meaningful our democratic process is. Thankfully, as millions have cast their ballots today, there’s been no shortage of heartwarming stories involving Americans exercising their right to vote. One of those stories centers around lifelong Mississippi resident Helen Karnes, who, although not quite old enough to have been born before women won the right to vote, is still pretty goddam old.
Wow. What a special woman!
While Karnes can’t claim that she was alive during a time when women were still politically disenfranchised, it just takes one look at her to tell that she’s fucking old. No, she might not have the inspiring, thematically satisfying story of a 100-year-old, but you get the sense that she’s definitely lived through some shit. She was certainly around in WWII times, and she might’ve even been there for the Depression, too. Who knows? This is no spring chicken we’re talking about here.
Though, admittedly, Karnes’ story would be a bit cooler if she’d been alive before 1920, you still have to applaud her for being old on this historic Election Day. Also, her mom and her aunts were definitely alive before women’s suffrage, so you know she’s probably got some good secondhand stories that she heard from them. Maybe one of them was even an important figure in the women’s rights movement or something. Statistically speaking, that’s probably not the case, but you never know!
It’s unclear if Karnes voted today for America’s first female presidential nominee, or if she even voted at all. But what matters is that she’s brittle, stooped-over, and ancient. There are probably lots of dusty ol‘ bats out there who are older than Karnes and who have more of a substantial foothold in U.S. women’s history, but this lady is still more or less a living skeleton. And that’s something that should make us all proud to be Americans.