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102-Year-Old Chicago Legend Dons A Full Hazmat Suit To Drop Off Her Ballot At The Mailbox

102-Year-Old Chicago Legend Dons A Full Hazmat Suit To Drop Off Her Ballot At The Mailbox
@CTULocal1 / Twitter

We're on the final stretch to the 2020 U.S. election and one of the things we're trying to navigate is how to vote safely during a pandemic. Waiting for election day itself can be hazardous, but not everyone has the option of absentee voting.

If there's one thing Bea Lumpkin will make sure she does every year, it's vote. And this year, she made sure people understood the lengths you should go to for one of the most important elections in our lifetimes.

You can hear part of Lumpkin's story here:

The 102-year-old who has voted every election since 1940 shared a photo of herself in full protective gear, mailing in her ballot.

Lumpkin, a former teacher and eternal labor rights activist, made sure she could vote, and that her voting could encourage others. She dropped off the ballot at the mailbox across the street in a protective hood and outfit designed by her grandson.

And just to drive the point home, she had that same grandson take a photo. It was shared far and wide by the Chicago Teacher's Union.

The act of voting is very important to Lumpkin. But she says this is the most important one.

She told CBS Radio:

"It's the most important election of my lifetime. The very future of democracy is on the line."

And if she can do it, so can you.

Lumpkin has spent her life advocating for workers' rights and supporting unions and was even suspended from college for putting together an antifascism conference. She fought for renters' rights during and after World War II, and became a teacher during the 1960s.

She even took part in the civil rights movement and protested Jim Crow laws and fought segregated public areas. Her life is a powerful testament to labor organizing and activism.

Even now, just the act of voting feels stronger coming from Lumpkin.

Unfortunately, not everyone has access to mail-in voting. For those who will have to go down to a polling center, please be prepared to wait for an extended period of time and stay safe by social distancing and wearing a mask.

But if Lumpkin can impart one thing, it's the importance of voting.

"If you never bothered to vote before and if you care anything about the children coming after us, you'll come out and vote this time."