82-Year-Old Texas Woman Who Died After Voting Wanted to ‘Drain the Swamp’

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
November 6, 2018Politics

The 82-year-old Texas women who died after voting for the first time told family members she wanted to “drain the swamp,” referring to one of President Donald Trump’s signature phrases.

The phrase refers to cleaning up the culture of corruption that some believe reigns in Washington.

Gracie Lou Phillips danced around her walker, sat down, and raised her fists into the air, saying: “I voted!” after getting back to her house in Grand Prarie last week. She said in a Facebook post that she thought the midterms elections were important, saying: “One vote can make a difference.

“82 yrs and FIRST time to vote. So this Grannie is voting in the most important race there is!! MY PRESIDENT…STAY STRONG SIR, I AM FOR YOU!!”

Jeff Griffith, her son-in-law, said that Phillips had never voted before casting her ballot on Nov. 1. She died on Nov. 5.

Phillips had never voted before because her husband, who passed away about 10 years ago, and who worked in construction, didn’t want her to because he feared it would harm business and thought it opened them up to jury duty, Phillips said in a Facebook post. She was also busy raising seven children. But after watching elections in recent years, she vowed to vote in the midterms.

She became sick with pneumonia but went to the polls with an oxygen tank and poll workers walked a paper ballot out to her as she sat in a vehicle. By the next morning, her condition had drastically worsened.

“She said, ‘At least I voted,’” her son-in-law recalled to the Washington Post. “It was one of the last coherent things she said to us.”

‘Drain the Swamp’

Phillips became a big fan of President Trump after Trump stunned the nation and won the presidency in 2016.

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

Family members said her determination to vote shows her dedication to following through.

“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,” granddaughter Leslie Rene Moore told NBC 5, calling her grandmother a “proud American” and a “proud woman.”

The family said they’re proud of her.

“To know that her voice is going to be heard forever is really exciting for us and we’re really proud of her,” Moore said.

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.