102-year-old voter captures Barack Obama's attention after photo goes viral

"This is what America is about," Ora Smith's nephew told "GMA."

October 30, 2020, 4:09 PM

A photo of a South Carolina centenarian casting her vote for the 2020 presidential election is inspiring people across the country.

On Oct. 21, Quentin Youmans tweeted the image of his aunt, 102-year-old Ora Smith, after her early voting in the town of Hampton. More than 20,000 people retweeted the moment including former president Barack Obama.

"This is a true patriot. This is what America is about," Youmans of Chicago told "Good Morning America." "I think people were inspired that at her age, with all she's seen, she recognizes the power of the vote."

Smith was born in 1918 -- the same year the Spanish flu pandemic affected the globe. And 102 years later, she's living through another pandemic and voting in an election.

Youman said Smith has voted in every election she could.

Kay Williams, another niece of Smith's, was the one who snapped the picture of her outside the voter registration office.

Williams told "GMA" she shared it on Facebook for family and friends to see, though it was Youmans' tweet that garnered most of the attention.

"That was an emotional experience," said Williams of Irmo, South Carolina. "She's just a wonderful lady, quite an independent 102-year-older. We as a family are very blessed to have her around."

Smith is very active in her community and in her church. She worked for decades as a seamstress in New York City and was very close to her twin sister, Eunice. Williams said her family lovingly referred to the pair as "The Golden Girls."

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