Woman intent on voting casts ballot while in labor

Published 5:47 am Sunday, November 11, 2012

First-time voter Stacia Beighley, of Albert Lea, wasn’t going to let anything stand in the way of casting her vote this past Tuesday for the election, not even the birth of her first child.

“I originally had a doctor’s appointment Tuesday afternoon, but that morning, I started having what felt like contractions. So I called the doctor’s office and was able to get an earlier appointment,” Beighley said. “I thought, OK, this has happened before. They’ll check me out and send me home. I’ll have plenty of time to vote.”

Stacia Beighley holds her newborn, Zaelynn. -- Submitted

But that wasn’t the case. Beighley ended up being admitted to Mayo Clinic Health System’s Baby Place for observation, followed by an epidural, according to a press release from the hospital.

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“It went really quickly,” she said. “The next thing I knew they were saying I was already dilated to a 10. While all of this was happening, a nurse came in asking if I wanted to vote. I said yes, and they were able to do the paperwork so I could vote with an absentee ballot.”

Because of timing to get the ballot to the Freeborn County courthouse, Beighley’s mom, Angie Beighley, who also was present with her daughter at The Baby Place, held the ballot on a clipboard, and her daughter voted in-between contractions.

“It was so important to me to vote in this election,” Beighley said. “I wanted my voice to be heard.”

Beighley’s mom said the whole experience was surreal. Beighley’s fiance, Cody Kubu, agreed that Beighley was intent on voting.

“Stacia was so determined to vote, so it was vote, push, vote, push. It was quite an experience.” Kubu said. “This is an experience all involved won’t soon forget.”

Monica Linder, registered nurse in The Baby Place, and Dr. Joe Lombardi, obstetrics/gynecology physician, both said this was the first time they’ve ever had a patient vote while in labor.

“In my 30-plus years of nursing, this is the first time I’ve had a patient in labor voting during contractions, and within 10 minutes of her finishing we had a baby,” Linder said.

“Because of the epidural Stacia was comfortable enough and lucid to fill out the ballot,” Lombardi said. “She was determined to not only have a baby, but to also vote.”

Beighley and Kubu’s daughter, Zaelynn Kubu, was born at 3:46 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Three other patients in Albert Lea’s Baby Place voted Tuesday as well.