High in the mountains in Sevier county, if you walk into the polling center at Pittman Center Elementary, you'll find Marie Maddox.This is her first time helping out at the polls.
"I had just decided I wanted to do something that I had never done before."
Maddox was always busy teaching on Election Day, but then she was forced to retire because of her health.
"I got cancer almost two years ago. I've had two surgeries and radiation and chemo and they can't fix it."
It's a heavy burden to carry, but Maddox doesn't let it faze her. Her happy, shinning attitude is contagious, spreading to all those around her. She says it's important to set new goals, trips and adventures to look forward to. Of course, she hasn't gone through any of this alone. Maddox has her students, friends and family.
"They came to see me in the hospital, they gave me flowers, it's been amazing. Most people don't get to know that until they're in heaven, looking back at their funeral."
And for Marie, this isn't a time for sympathy or a time for sadness. She wants to do what she's always done, teach and motivate those around her.
"None of us know how long we're going to be here. The important thing to do, is to do what's important to you, to other people, every day. And that's what I'm trying to do."
"So today," she said, "voting was important."