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Poll worker, 97, marks her 79th consecutive year working elections

Laura Wooten, 97, has been working the polls for 79 straight years. (News 12 New Jersey)

Just a month ahead of her 98th birthday, Laura Wooten celebrated her 79th consecutive year working as poll worker by waking up at 4 a.m. for a full day of work during today’s midterm elections in the Garden State. Last year, she told News 12 New Jersey, her brother died just a day before Election Day. She was grieving, she recalled, and found herself unable to get a car ride to the polls. Undeterred, she walked the long journey to the polling area instead.

“Voting is very important. Because if there was no voting a lot of things would still be the same,” said Wooten. “A lot of us do not vote. They say, ‘Our vote doesn’t count.’ But how can they could they count if they don’t vote? That’s the only way you’re going to get changes made.”

Among those changes, she explained, was the desegregation she witnessed take place in her home town of Princeton. When Wooten was growing up, she said, the town had segregated schools, movie theaters and even hospitals. She’s glad those days are long gone. But the hard work of creating a more fair and equal society, she added, is far from over.

“I’ve seen a lot of changes,” said Wooten. “But there’s still a lot that need to be made.”

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Read the full story at News 12.

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