Wondering who Desiline Victor is from the 2013 State of the Union speech?
Desiline Victor is a 102-year-old naturalized American citizen originally from Haiti, now residing in north Miami. The retired farmworker was invited to sit in First Lady Michelle Obama’s box during President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, in which he referred to the voting troubles many citizens like Desiline encountered on Election Day.
On October 28, 2012, the first day of early voting in her home state of Florida, Desiline arrived to vote at her local polling place at 10 a.m. Wait times were up to six hours, but the spirited centenarian — known as “Granny” in her Haitian community — persevered for three hours. Her fellow citizens complained on behalf of the elderly woman, so a poll worker asked Desiline to return later that evening.
When she came back, she finally cast her vote. When Desiline Victor left the building, thousands of waiting voters cheered for her. Many voters said Desiline’s story inspired them to wait despite the long lines.
While she never meant to become the face of voting rights, Desiline said, “I’m very happy, very proud.”