By Jessica Yellin
(CNN) – 102-year-old Desiline Victor is among first lady Michelle Obama‘s guests at the State of the Union Tuesday – and her example is meant to drive home President Barack Obama’s commitment to protecting voting rights made during his inaugural address. In that speech he said, “Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote.”
Victor, a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Haiti, waited in line for three hours to cast an early vote ballot in Florida. According to voting rights advocates who know Victor’s story, when she returned later in the day other people in line urged election officials to get her in to vote. It was her second time filling out a ballot since she became a citizen in 2005.
The president’s power to alter voting practices is limited. Only Congress has the power to create national standards. Voting rights advocates are calling for uniform rules around early voting, voter identification laws and means of registration but this cannot be done by executive action.
At least 13 people are dead in the U.S. from superstorm Sandy. Also, one person was killed in Canada. Previously, the storm claimed 67 lives in the Caribbean, including 51 in Haiti.
The storm continues to pack hurricane force winds more than five hours after making landfall along the coast of southern New Jersey, according to the 2 a.m. ET advisory from the National Weather Service. The system is centered about 10 miles southwest of Philadelphia.
More than 5 million people are without electricity in 13 states and the District of Columbia.
Get complete coverage of Hurricane Sandy on CNN.com, CNN TV and CNN Mobile.