As a long line of wheel chairs strolled into the Jewish Home and Hospital on West Kingsbridge Road, a smiling volunteer lifted a black curtain and let them in to vote.
“I’ve voted for a president who believes in God and life,” said Mary Gamory, 82. “Obama voted two times for abortion.”
Gamory was one of several senior citizens who filed into the voting station to cast their ballots. Most of the voters who filled the polling site were well past the age of retirement – some disabled, and some even on stretchers .
For the politically minded residents of Kittay House, a Jewish nursing home on Webb Avenue, it was a moment they had long awaited. Many of them have closely followed the race, reading hundreds of articles in the center’s library and watching countless hours of coverage in the TV room. To accommodate the residents, the center’s staff arranged to bring them to the polls in a van.
For the most avid of these senior voters, showing up at the polls was not only a duty. It was a necessity.
“This is what citizenship is all about,” said Bill Drake, 68, who sat in the back of the van. “You gotta vote also for those who under socialist or communist regimes cannot.”
Some were unwilling to reveal which candidate they would vote for, while others were happy to share.
“I’ll vote for Obama,” said 88-year-old Samuel Baum, a former Navy captain. “The Republican party is responsible for the financial turmoil. McCain can be an excellent person per se, but his party is going to impose the same economic policy of the past administration.”
Some of the senior voters enjoyed the ride on the van and were excited with the outing, but had little knowledge about the candidates, let alone their programs.
“Obama, ‘Cain? Who are they?” wondered Bronx native Ann Mahoney, 70. “I wanna see who is running. I don’t know even who is running.”