Lack of transport stifles elder vote in To’hajiilee

TO’HAJIILEE, N.M.

Hillary Clinton clinched the Democratic nomination in the New Mexico primary with just 53 percent, which translated into 110,451 voters.

One of those was 85-year-old Delia Secatero, who cast her vote late Tuesday afternoon at the To’hajiilee Chapter House, also known as the Desidera Center. Secatero, a registered Democrat, said that she made the trip into the chapter house to show her support for Clinton, who was up against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination.

“The way (Clinton) thinks and plans out for the world, she will make good decisions about the future,” Secatero said in the Diné language as her granddaughter Ernestina Chavez translated into English.

Waving her hands to emphasize her concern about Donald Trump, the outspoken Republican who ran away with nearly 73 percent of the vote for that party’s nomination, she said, “He says bad things about other people. He’s kind of mean and angry.” That kind of personality, she explained wouldn’t make a good President because, “He will make mistakes and as a result things can go bad (for the country).”

Secatero was one of the few elders who voted in the primary because her granddaughter, Ernestina, gave her a ride.

To’hajiilee’s poll official, Sherilynn Apache, said that more elders would have voted if they would have had a way to get to the chapter house.

“A lot of elders don’t have transportation,” she said.

To’hajiilee lands stretch across Bernalillo, Sandoval and Cibola counties.

By 3 p.m., 54 community people had cast their vote in the primary election.


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