82-Year-Old Woman Chose to ‘Drain the Swamp’ and Vote for First Time Before Dying

Gracie Lou Phillips of Texas took an oxygen tank with her

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An 82-year-old Texas woman cast her ballot for the first time ever during early voting last week — before succumbing to pneumonia and passing away on Monday.

“She finally registered to vote for the first time in her life,” Gracie Lou Phillips’ granddaughter, Michelle Phillips, told NBC 5.

“She kept telling everybody, ‘I’m voting. I’m going to vote this year and my vote counts.’”

Phillips registered to vote before becoming gravely ill with pneumonia and sepsis; she was placed in hospice care.

Jeff Griffith, her son-in-law, told The Washington Post that Phillips kept asking, “Isn’t there some way I can vote? Don’t they let people vote from the hospital?”

“It was really important to her,” Griffith said.

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Phillips went to vote with her portable oxygen tank on Thursday and stayed in the car as poll workers brought her ballot out to her.

Her family shared a video with NBC 5 that showed Phillips holding her “I voted today” sticker and repeating the words.

Michelle Phillips said, “She wouldn’t even peel it off because she wanted to keep it forever. But to have someone literally need oxygen to breathe, pure tank of oxygen to breathe, put it in her car and ask to go on what may very well be the last week of her life, that shows the dedication and priority that people need to look at.”

Phillips passed away on Monday.

Griffith told The Post that his mother-in-law “wanted to ‘drain the swamp,’” one of President Donald Trump’s iconic campaign slogans that has resonated with his supporters ever since he began campaigning back in 2015.

“She voted straight-ticket Republican,” Griffith said. “She was very happy. She kept saying she finally got to vote.”

Phillips, a former beautician, had seven children with her late husband, Bill. But misconceptions about voting and worries over not being able “to make ends meet” or being called in for jury duty prevented the couple from heading to the polls, Griffith said.

Bill Phillips, who worked in construction, also worried that being too political might impact his business.

Related: Trump on Election Eve: ‘Everything We Have Achieved Is at Stake’

But after seeing how divisive the political climate had become over the last few years, Phillips finally decided it was time for her to become a voter.

“To know that her voice is going to be heard forever is really exciting for us and we’re really proud of her,” Phillips’ granddaughter, Leslie Rene Moore, told NBC 5.

Phillips passed away the day before most other Americans headed to the voting booths to make their voices heard.

Although many pollsters predict Democrats will retake the House and that Republicans will hold onto the Senate, nothing is certain with so many races hanging on razor-thin polling margins in the days leading up to Election Day.

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