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Proud to Vote for Obama in Winooski

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When I went to Winooski to vote this morning, I stood in line near my neighbor, Nari Penson, an Obama supporter.

Nari got to the polls around 6:45 a.m. She was #9 in line. She took the day off work to vote, and then to drive voters to the polls.

"I always try to make sure I vote early on election day," she told me.

Nari's family is from Georgia; her parents live in Athens. She explained that years ago, when her grandmother went to vote in Fayette County, Georgia, she was not allowed into the building because she was black. "She stood on a box to vote through a window," Nari explained. "It was really humiliating, but she did it."

Nari's father, who is now 90 years old, had a similarly difficult experience trying to vote in Macon County, Alabama. "He had to get a federal judge to register him because the Macon County officials wouldn't do it," Nari said.

Both her parents called her repeatedly in the last few weeks to urge her to vote early, but she said she likes to wait until election day. It's exciting, she said. Nari is an elementary school teacher at a private school, and she's been encouraging people at school to vote today. "They'll be able to tell their children and grandchildren stories about how they were there for this historic election," she said.

Nari, who is 54, said she always thinks about her family's experiences when she votes. She was proud to be voting for an African-American candidate for president. "Today," she said, "this feels really special."

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