101 year old Watertown woman, who first voted in 1940, heads to the polls

WWNY 101 year old Watertown woman, who first voted in 1940, heads to the polls

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Imagine being 101 years old and still being passionate about expressing your right to vote.

Thelma Koelmel is 101 years old and insisted on voting in-person Tuesday because she said she feels privileged.

The first presidential election she voted in was in 1940 - Franklin D. Roosevelt versus Wendell Willkie.

The Watertown woman believes she has voted in every presidential election since then, which would be 21 presidential elections.

On this Election Day, she’s reminding people the importance of voting.

“Take advantage of it. There’s so many people that don’t have it. They can’t do it. They can’t change anything. If you don’t like it, you can change it,” she said.

Koelmel was born in 1919, one year before the 19th Amendment was ratified, giving women the right to vote.

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