Richland County, SC — More than 80 years ago, my grandfather and his cousin had the audacity to exercise their right to vote in a small, rural town in Texas. They were harassed and threatened. Family members and friends urged my grandfather to leave town until things cooled down, but he refused. That night, my great-grandmother was so concerned that she made my grandfather and his cousin hide out under her house. She sat on the front porch in her rocker smoking a corn cob pipe all night, with a shotgun beside her and a hatchet under the cushion.
Each time I hear that story, I know that voting is too important to be taken lightly. I can only imagine how my family felt that night, waiting for violence or even death just because they understood how important it is to vote.
I was so proud of my husband on Election Day. He lives in Columbia but works in Florence. After a long day at work, he drove back to Columbia and stood in line more than four hours to vote at Summit Parkway. It was cold and he was tired, but he did not leave that line. I made sure my 11-year-old son understood why it was important that Daddy stayed and voted.
Whatever the outcome of the Election Day investigation, I hope that we can avoid this kind of fiasco in the future. Voters deserve better.
Carmen Hampton Julious