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Fifty-One Centenarians Vote in South Texas Election; So Records Show

Population estimates indicate Webb County should have only 19 over 100

Feb. 28, 2006 Fifty-one centenarians - senior citizens that have made it to age 100 - have already voted in the first week of early voting in Webb County. Joining the centenarians at the polls were 93 seniors over age 90. At least that is what an attorney for a congressional candidate claims has happened in this district that stretches the length of South Texas from San Antonio to Mexico.


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Centenarians are the fastest growing age group in America, but Luis Vera, the lawyer representing San Antonio candidate, former Congressman Ciro Rodriguez, thinks they are multiplying a little too fast along the Mexican border in Webb County.

Vera took the list of those who had voted in Webb County, home his client's opponent, incumbent Henry Cuellar, and compared the names to the voter registration information to determine the ages.

The Texas Secretary of State agreed to place an inspector in Webb County for the March 7 Democratic primary, although the Rodriguez campaign wanted someone on the scene now to monitor early voting.

In his plea to the state for help, Vera said, "Webb County has a long history of allegations of voter fraud."

Oscar Sanchez, campaign manger for Rodriguez, told the San Antonio Express-News, "It just seems like a very high number, especially the people over 100."

Colin Strother, spokesperson for the Cuellar campaign, said the claims are an act of desperation by Rodriguez, reported the San Antonio newspaper.

Strother said Laredo (the major city in Webb County) candidates traditionally stage events aimed at getting seniors to the polls on the first day of early voting.

Editor's Note: This would not be the first occasion in which citizens residing in South Texas cemeteries have been motivated to cast their ballots.

It is estimated there are 50,000 centenarians in the U.S. about one of every 10,000 people. There are about 193,000 residents of Webb County, which would indicate a centenarian population of about 19.




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