At 93 years of age, Hettie Beers is Tazewell County's newest election judge.
She was surprised with a swearing-in ceremony at the Morningside of Washington assisted living complex Wednesday morning after writing a letter to Tazewell County Clerk John Ackerman earlier this month, volunteering her help.
Beers was a long-time local elections volunteer in Peoria before moving to Washington.
"My precinct was at the Bradley Fieldhouse. And it was just, I thought, really a good thing to do. I taught all my kids about elections and how it's important," she said.
Beers was a member of the League of Women Voters Greater Peoria chapter, observing the Peoria County Board and the Metropolitan Airport Authority meetings.
Beers will assist Morningside's activities director, Amber Conover, as residents vote on Nov. 3. All Tazewell County long-term care facilities offer assistance with mail-in voting for residents registered to vote.
Ackerman praised Beers for taking the initiative to step up and volunteer as an election judge during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I truly believe she's a shining example of the Greatest Generation. A generation that made their mark by standing forward when their country needed them, standing up. And volunteering to serve their community during their darkest hour and make sure that they can continue shining," he said. "That's what she's an example of today."
Now that her new job is official, Beers said it's time to get to work.
"I need to find out when the election is and go to school to learn to refresh myself about the rules of the elections," she said. "Elections are important."
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