LARGO, Fla. – As you might be deciding who will get your vote on Election Day, one woman has already cast her ballot. And she's done this dance before: 2016 marks the 18th time that 89-year-old Mignon Tipton has helped decide a presidential election.
Yet she says 2016, without a doubt, is the most memorable.
In November 1948, Tipton voted for the first time in one of the greatest election upsets in history. Incumbent Harry S. Truman defeated Thomas E. Dewey despite predictions that said otherwise.
“I was 21 years old. I was living in Lynbrook (New York) and our election place was the cigarette store around the corner,” Tipton recalling the first time she voted.
She says she hasn’t missed an election in the past 68 years. This election is no different, and at the same time, she says it is.
“There's so much news about it,” she said.
“You can’t escape it!” agreed 10News.
“You can’t. You really can’t and I think you get so wound up in it, you don’t want to escape it,” said Tipton.
Has she seen an election quite like this?
“Not really. I haven’t. You know there (usually) isn’t all this name-calling and everything else. They actually respect the other person, I think. There isn’t any respect in this election at all,” explained Tipton.
Thinking back on all of the elections that she's been through, there's just nothing like it?
“No. I don't think so really,” Tipton replied.
“So what happens on Wednesday? Do you have advice for us youngsters on how we can reach out to our neighbors or how we can come together?”
“Well, I think we all have to have confidence in whoever gets in there, I mean, we have to try. And you can write to your congressman. You know, we’ve done it before,” she answered.
Tipton says there’s no easy answer because this has not been an easy election. She has faith that the younger generation can move past the campaign but worries more about older voters who, she says, had their minds made up months ago.
(© 2017 WTSP)