Obama’s Grandmother Got to Cast a Vote for the Man She Raised

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As you probably know by now, Barack Obama’s grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, died yesterday, one day before the nation decides if the man she raised gets to be the next president of the United States. To many — Obama himself probably first among them — it felt like a punch to the stomach. As a middle-aged white woman raising a half-black boy in the 1970s, Dunham led an unconventional family. As Obama tells it, she was undaunted by the challenge. In fact, she embraced it. In a statement about Dunham’s death, Obama and his sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, said, “She was the person who encouraged and allowed us to take chances.”

But take heart, Obama supporters. According to Eli Sanders of the Seattle Stranger, Dunham was able to cast her ballot before her death. Here’s Kevin Cronin, chief election officer for Hawaii, speaking to Sanders:

Ms. Dunham’s absentee mail ballot was received and reviewed under the Hawaii standards for processing absentee mail ballots… She was alive at that time. Her ballot will be opened tomorrow, and it will be counted in the same way that all absentee voters would be treated under our law.

No word, of course, on who she voted for. I suspect we can guess. What a proud moment that must have been.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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