94-year-old hasn’t missed an election since FDR | TahoeDailyTribune.com

94-year-old hasn’t missed an election since FDR

Amanda Fehd
provided by Mountain Democrat Dorthea Engstrom

PLACERVILLE – On Oct. 13, Dorothea Engstrom wrote a note with a frail hand to the El Dorado County Elections Department:

Dear Elections Dept.,

I am requesting an absentee ballot, my first. I am 94 years old and my first vote was cast for Franklin Roosevelt in 1932 and I haven’t missed an election since. This time my eyesight is not very good and I understand that the ballot is quite complicated so I am asking for my first absentee ballot.


Dorothea Engstrom

The note was made out on colorful stationery with classic, but shaky, handwriting. Engstrom has lived on Santa’s Acres, a tree farm in Camino, for 50 years.

“The ballot was so long and so involved and I don’t read so fast anymore and I figured I’d hold people up,” Engstrom said. “But that’s the last time I’ll vote absentee. I don’t like to vote absentee. I like talking to people at the polls and I like being a part of process.”

She was disheartened by Sen. John Kerry’s loss, so much so that she said she’s not looking forward to her 95th birthday in January.

“Oh, I wish I could die and get out,” she said. But a moment later, she lightened up. “There really isn’t a better place than here, if we would just go along with the Constitution and the rules.”

When the results were announced this morning, it made her so down, she said she had to go back to bed.

Her advice to young people: Pay attention to what’s going on.

“I’ll always vote because I believe in America,” she said. “It’s our country, and you have a right to (vote) and when you don’t do it, that’s too bad.”

– Photo was provided by the Placerville Mountain Democrat

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