Helen Benson, 102, voted Tuesday at the Los Alamos Municipal Building. Photo by Jody Benson
BY JODY BENSON
Helen Benson voted Tuesday just as she has voted in every election—local, state, national—since she voted for FDR in 1942. In her long life, she has seen all flavors of government, in the US and around the world. She knows how important every individual vote is.
Helen Lueth, a descendent of Suffragists, was born on August 16, 1920, just two days before the 19th Amendment was ratified to give women the right to vote, and two weeks before the Amendment became law. She has lived in the most amazing of eras: from America’s Model-Ts rattling along unpaved roads to America’s Voyager leaving the solar system. America invented the telephone, the supercomputer, and now, the supercomputer you carry in your pocket. Helen votes for science.
She has watched America plunge into multiple recessions including the Great Depression. During the Great Depression she saw how good government can lead people to work together to solve national problems. That good government supported laborers and business, the arts, industry, infrastructure, and science to bring the nation out of the Depression by spending taxes on behalf of the people who paid the taxes. She participated in the national recovery. Helen votes for national unity.
After WWII, she watched how good government—her own American government—became powerful by being moral and leading the world away from the tyranny and fascism that oozes from inequality, hunger, injustice, and poverty. Helen votes for human dignity
She watched as her own country worked to finally move toward including economic rights for the majority of the population not born male and White. She participated in gaining the right of women to be safe and to make their own choices about health, family, education, and occupation. She knows the nation isn’t there yet, so Helen continues to vote for mercy.
Now? After 81 years of voting, Helen voted again in the 2022 local, state, and national election for people who represent her values. At 102, she went to her polling place where all the workers “treated her like a queen” to ensure she was able to vote.
And how did she vote? Helen has a long memory of when America truly was great. She voted her values. She votes for those with experience and commitment to the democratic process and to the people the process supports. She did not vote for corporations and lobbyists who think that through their misinformation they can convince her whom to fear. She did not vote for people who believe issues should be resolved with a gun rather than the ballot box.
Every vote counts. Tuesday, November 8, is the day. One vote can change an election. Her vote. Yours. It’s up to us.
For voting information call your County Clerk’s Office or go to: nmvote.org