Philadelphia Woman, 98, Kept Streak Alive: ‘I Never Miss a Vote'

Emma Green, 98, hasn't missed the chance to vote since she first cast a ballot for Hubert Humphries in 1968, and she certainly looked forward to casting a vote Tuesday for Hillary Clinton.

As for the rest of the ballot, she keeps it simple these days: "Straight Democrat."

The Mount Airy resident grew up in Alabama, the daughter of poor, rural farmers and the granddaughter of slaves. She moved to Philadelphia in 1965 when her husband, Henry Green, retired from the military. Henry died in 2006.

Her son, Broderick Green, said his mother doesn't "walk around the neighborhood as much anymore. But she could."

And come Election Day, she has laser-like focus.

"We had to make it," Broderick Green said outside the polling place for the 22nd Division of the 10th Ward in the 7100 block of Cedar Park Avenue. "There's no stopping her."

Until a few years ago, Green served as a poll worker as well.

Now, she hopes her perfect Election Day attendance the last 48 years will be an example for young people.

"These young people better vote and better listen," she said after voting. "If you don't vote, you don't get the things you want."

Green said it's been an incredible journey from her early years growing up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where she "saw the Ku Klux Klan. I never got to see things that I wanted to see when I was growing up. We had separate places to eat. Separate places to drink and all of that."

"It wasn't nothing for us to walk down the street and see a black man hanging and it makes you want to cry now," she told during an interview in August.

And she wants to see more gains made.

"I'll be here when I'm 100. Ninety-nine and a half won't cut it. I'll be here at 100," she said before getting back in her car and heading home.

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