A Washington state elector who has a terminal health issue broke down in tears Monday after casting his vote for President-elect Joe Biden, telling a local media outlet that being an elector is part of making his time left “count. ”
Just days after his selection as an elector, 64-year-old Democrat Jack Arends was diagnosed with an inoperable heart valve issue, The Everett Herald reported.
A retired aviation industry analyst, Arends entered the floor of the state Senate in a wheelchair and wearing a brimmed cap reading “Play Nice. ” He took a less-than-subtle jab at Trump by bringing two Sharpie markers ― the president’s writing tool of choice on several headline-making occasions ― to cast his vote for Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. “Today is the chance to begin the end of the Trump administration, ” he said. “I was glad to do my duty and rid our nation of a petty dictator. Had he won a second term, there is no limit to the damage he could have done to the world. ”
Arends, who by then appeared to be holding back tears, concluded the speech by addressing his ailing condition.
“It was important for me to do this one thing that I could do while I still can, ” he said, before placing his head down on the desk. At that point, he was comforted by fellow elector Julian Wheeler, who placed a hand on his shoulder while the rest of the chamber applauded.
In an interview with The Everett Herald published Monday, Arends described his Electoral College duties as “one last box I want to check — I am determined to check it. ”
“I don’t know how much time I am going to have on this earth, ” he said. “But I am going to make it count while I am here and that includes being an elector. ”
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