Thursday, October 25, 2012
Frank Tanabe, the 93-year-old World War II veteran who gained fame at the end of his life by voting on his death bed, has succumbed to liver cancer. Tanabe died Wednesday in his daughter Barbara's Honolulu home, according to the Associated Press.
Shortly before his grandfather died, Tanabe's grandson Noah posted a photo on Reddit of Frank Tanabe voting by absentee ballot from his hospital bed. The post went viral, attracting hundreds of thousands of views.
As Home Post reported earlier this week, Tanabe joined the Army during WWII while he was imprisoned in an internment camp for Japanese-Americans in California.
Barbara Tanabe told the Associated Press why her father wanted to fight in the war:
"I think he feels like joining the Army, going to the camp, fighting in the war, and fighting discrimination — these were all things he did so that we have this precious right to vote."
Many have questioned whether Tanabe's ballot will count, now that he has passed away. According to the A.P.:
Honolulu elections officials say Frank Tanabe's vote will be counted unless they receive his death certificate before the Nov. 6 election. Even if they do receive the certificate, it most likely won't be practical for elections officials to pick out his ballot from the thousands of absentee ballots mailed in.