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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Landslide Alert: 106-year-old voter chooses Obama


By David Willey
BBC News, Rome

Sister Cecilia Gaudette
Sister Cecilia has lived in the convent in Rome for 50 years

A 106-year-old American nun living in a convent in Rome could well be one of the oldest voters to cast a ballot in the 2008 US Presidential election.

Sister Cecilia Gaudette, who last voted for President Eisenhower in 1952, has registered to vote and says she will vote for Democrat Barack Obama.

Although hard of hearing, she keeps herself informed by reading newspapers and watching TV at the convent.

"I'm encouraged by Senator Obama," she says.

"I've never met him, but he seems to be a good man with a good private life. That's the first thing. Then he must be able to govern," she adds.

Sitting in her modest office in the convent where she has lived for the past 50 years, the diminutive nun appears uninterested in the row inside the American Catholic church over Senator Obama's support for pro-choice policies on abortion.

Asked about her hopes for the US under an Obama presidency, she says: "Peace abroad. I don't worry about the Iraq war because I can't do anything about it. Lord knows how it will end."

"It is very complicated," she said. "Those Eastern people are not like we are."

But despite taking part in the 4 November election, Sister Cecilia does not intend to return to the US.

"I have no plans for the future. I am too old to go back to the US. Life has changed too much."

But she still watches "very important events" on TV. The election comes under this category.

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