Della Johnson has been voting in elections since she first registered to cast a ballot in 1942.
On Friday, July 20, the 105-year-old Morgan County woman became the latest West Virginian to be added to the state’s Voter Hall of Fame.
West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner, the state’s chief election officer, welcomed Johnson to the Hall of Fame during a brief ceremony in the Morgan County courthouse.
He presented her a certificate that read:
For the establishment of an outstanding & uninterrupted voting record for a period of 50 or more years & for the commitment to carry out one of the most fundamental responsibilities of citizenship in the United States of America and the Great State of West Virginia; Therefore, I, Mac Warner, West Virginia Secretary of State, do proudly induct Della Mae Johnson of Morgan County, West Virginia as a member of the West Virginia Voter Hall of Fame.
Warner noted that Johnson is very much a part of history.
“When Della was born, women didn’t have the right to vote,” he said.
The 19th amendment, guaranteeing that right for women, was ratified on August 18, 1920. Johnson was born in May of 1913.
“What she represents is the strength of our democracy. Her vote, her voice. Your vote, your voice,” Warner said.
He cautioned against anyone taking for granted their right to peacefully choose elected representatives to run the country.
Johnson, who lives in Berkeley Springs, used to vote at the Community Services building on Green Street, but not casts her vote by absentee ballot, said County Clerk Kim Johnson Nickles.
Johnson was the mother of two sons – the late Herb and Bernard Johnson. Her daughter-in-law Bobbie Johnson and adopted daughter Peggy Peck attended the Friday ceremony with Della Johnson.
Warner said he was honored to be in her presence and asked if Johnson had a favorite candidate over her lifetime of voting. She said she didn’t, but remembered many of them. Johnson said she was surprised by the award.
“I thank you all for coming,” she said.