82-year-old votes for the first time in midterms. Then, dies knowing her vote ‘counts’

National News

An 82-year-old North Texas woman who just cast her vote for the first time has died.

A family member drove Gracie Lou Phillips and her oxygen tank to cast an early vote for the midterm elections on Thursday, Fort Worth/Dallas’ NBC station reports. The great-grandmother was transitioning to hospice care at the time, but she didn’t let her failing health stop her from voting in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Her granddaughters say Phillips had never voted in the past, because she didn’t think her vote would matter. Plus, she led a busy life.

Phillips was a mom to seven children who also worked as a beautician, The Washington Post reports. Her son-in-law, Jeff Griffith, told the Post her husband also worried about voting because he thought they then might be called for jury duty — something that could compromise their income.

That changed this year, as Phillips took more of an interest in politics.

“She kept telling everybody ‘I’m voting. I’m going to vote this year and my vote counts,’” her granddaughter Michelle Phillips told the TV station.

The first-time voter died on Monday surrounded by family, who know her vote mattered.

Griffith told the Post one of the last coherent things he heard his mother-in-law say was “at least I voted.”

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