A Soldier's Mom Speaks Out

With the presidential election only days away, the mother of one of the first U.S. casualties in Iraq is in the capital city pleading folks to vote.

Patricia Roberts is a single parent raising her three-year-old grandson, Jamaal. Jamaal's father, after whom he was named, was killed in Iraq, gunned down during the attack on the same convoy made famous by Jessica Lynch.

Because of Florida’s problems in the 2000 presidential election, in her son's memory, Patricia has traveled from Atlanta with a message for Secretary of State Glenda Hood.

"To make sure she's doing everything that's possible to make sure no one's being intimidated, and the democracy my son died in another county for will be present in this country. So that his death will not be in vain."

The director of the Florida Division of Elections says they are doing their best to assist all election offices with helping Florida voters.

"We are here to try to assist. I don't have personally the staff to send down to all the supervisors of elections, but we will work with them and try to get them the resources that they need."

Patricia says, "I want them to understand it's important for them to go to the polls. Push forward regardless of what kind of resistance is there."

Patricia says instead of sympathy letters for the death of her son, a better gift is to see everyone who can vote.

Secretary of State Glenda Hood was not present for Wednesday morning's visit due to a prior engagement, but Patricia Roberts did get to voice her concerns to the director of Florida Division of Elections.