93-Year-Old WWII Veteran Dies After Casting Vote From Deathbed in Hawaii
Frank Tanabe, the 93-year-old WWII veteran who cast his absentee ballot from a hospice in Hawaii, has died. He was suffering from inoperable liver cancer but never missed voting in an election.
After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, Tanabe and 110,000 other Japanese Americans were detained and sent to internment camps. To show his loyalty, he volunteered to serve in the U.S. military, interrogating Japanese prisoners.
For his service, Tanabe received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2011, and spoke to reporters:
“I wanted to do my part to prove that I was not an enemy alien, or that none of us were — that we were true Americans. And if we ever got the chance, we would do our best to serve our country. And we did,” he said.
Hawaii state law dictates that votes should not count if a person dies before Election Day, but supporters say that Hawaii should let it go since he is such an inspiration.