100-year-old resident casts her ballot, encourages others to vote

Published 5:04 pm Monday, October 24, 2016

Star Photo/Abby Morris-Frye Dorothy Bundza holds a sign proclaiming "I voted. Have you?" after she cast her ballot on Saturday.

Star Photo/Abby Morris-Frye
Dorothy Bundza holds a sign proclaiming “I voted. Have you?” after she cast her ballot on Saturday.

Voter turnout has been high so far during early voting, and one Carter Countian at the polls on Saturday had an interesting story to share.
On Saturday morning, local resident Dorothy Bundza headed to the polls to cast her ballot, something she has been doing for nearly eight decades.
Bundza is 100 years old. “I’ll be 101 in February,” she said proudly.
Born in 1916, Bundza was four years old when women were granted the right to vote in the United States following the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920.
At that time, residents had to be 21 years old in order to vote and Bundza turned 21 in 1937. The first Presidential Election she was eligible to vote in was in 1940 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a Democrat, faced off against challenger and Republican nominee Wendell Willkie. Roosevelt went on to defeat Willkie by a landslide.
“I voted for Roosevelt,” Bundza recalled. “I’ve voted for four that were President. The rest of the time I voted for Ralph Nader or the Green Party,” she said with a laugh.
Voting has been an important tradition for Bundza.
“I have voted every year I could except for when I was in the hospital with cancer,” she said.
Just as she has headed to the polls when given the opportunity, Bundza hopes to encourage everyone who can to cast their ballots and make their voices heard. After she cast her own ballot on Saturday, Bundza took a moment to pose with a sign proudly proclaiming “I voted. Have you?”
Bundza was one of 423 Carter Countians to take advantage of early voting on Saturday.
Early voting began across the state on Wednesday, Oct. 19. In the three-and-a-half days that polls were open last week, a total of 3,002 county residents passed through the polls to vote, according to Carter County Administrator of Elections Tracy Harris. The highest turnout so far was on Friday, Oct. 21, which saw 899 voters cast their ballots early.
Those numbers are up over the last Presidential Election in 2012. During the first three-and-a-half days of early voting in 2012, Harris said 2,390 voters turned out.
“This turnout is probably going to break records,” Harris said of this year’s election.
Early voting is ongoing and continues until Nov. 3.
Early voting will be held at the Carter County Election Commission Office, located at 116 Holston Avenue, next to the Carter County Health Department. Polls will be open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until noon through the early voting period.
Harris said lines have been long during the first days of early voting but added lines are moving quickly with the wait to vote typically running only 10-15 minutes even with a long line because the ballot is short.
Overflow parking for early voting is in the First Baptist Church parking lot at the corner of Holston Avenue and East G Street. Harris asks that those taking part in early voting not park at the Carter County Health Department so as not to impact the Health Department’s patients or programs.
For more information on the upcoming election or voter registration questions, contact the Carter County Election Commission at 423-542-1822 or by email to elections@cartercountytn.gov.

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