It was literally a race against time: a question of whether an absentee ballot would reach a 93-year-old Honolulu man before it was too late.
Despite rapidly-declining health from liver cancer that spread to his bones, Frank Tanabe was determined to vote in this year’s election, just as he has in every election since he was given the right to vote.
When the ballot arrived, Tanabe’s grandson posted a photo his grandfather voting from his deathbed with the assistance of his daughter, and it quickly went viral, inspiring people to call Tanabe a patriot for his determination to exercise his right to vote.
There’s one minor catch, according to the Los Angeles Times: Hawaii state law requires the vote of anyone who dies before election day to be invalidated. But there’s a silver lining to that legal cloud: at this point, so close to the election, the amount of red tape required to invalidate the vote would probably make it impossible for them to do so before it is counted.
It’s amazing that anyone facing his own death would be that dedicated to being part of the democratic process one final time. Then again, the fact that anyone feeling that way stands out so dramatically to so many is a sad testament about the average voter who’s so preoccupied with the small stuff.
I hope Tanabe makes it to election night, and I hope he gets to see the results of his vote.
They say every vote counts. It’s nice to know there are people who don’t take that fact for granted.