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On 102nd Birthday, Chicago Woman Becomes U.S. Citizen, Registers To Vote

(CBS) -- A 102-year-old woman from the northwest side Belmont Gardens neighborhood marked her birthday Wednesday by becoming a U.S. citizen and voting.

For most people her age, the trip downtown would be more than enough. But when Felicidad Lage, originally from Spain, took the oath of citizenship, she was absolutely insistent on making her next stop the Election Board, so she could register and vote.

Felicidad Lage surrounded by great granddaughter Natalia Guerra, grandson Gustavo Guerra and daughter Alba Guerra at the Chicago Board of Elections. (Credit: Jim Allen.)

Chicago Election Board spokesman Jim Allen said Lage walked in clutching her naturalization papers, and soon a registrar was able to get sufficient identification to register her and hand her a ballot.

Allen said that when she was done, she took a photo with her daughter, grandson and great-granddaughter, which made him proud as well -- in the system.


Allen figures if Lage could register and vote, thousands of younger Chicagoans could do so, too.

"What's your excuse?" he asked.

Grace period registration and voting continues through April 4.

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