New American celebrates first trip to polls

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72-year-old relishes first ballot

Born in Belize, Eleanor Guerrero vividly remembers the date she immigrated to the United States. It was June 6, 1968 — the same day was day presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy was shot and killed in Los Angeles.

She established a new milestone date Tuesday. She will remember Nov. 8, 2011, as the day she cast her first vote.

Guerrero, 72, was active in her community even as a child. Her mother served as mayor in her hometown and her father was a district representative.

She has lived 43 years in the United States without being able to vote. Friends and her family of five children, 13 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren often encouraged Guerrero to become a naturalized citizen.

She completed the process June 10 and as a new American voter, cast her ballot Tuesday in Kentucky’s statewide election at the Fort Knox precinct.

“I felt great pride as I cast my vote today ... joining other Americans in helping decide our nation’s future,” she said Tuesday.

A retired nurse, Guerrero’s community activities include working as a volunteer in the Senior Companion Program and being involved in the local Democratic Party.