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Man collapses while walking into precinct, dies before voting; wife returns later that day to cast ballot

by The Associated Press | November 28, 2018 at 10:30 a.m.

MCCOMB, Miss. — A Mississippi man collapsed and died on the way to vote Tuesday with his wife who went back later to cast her ballot in what election officials called a testament to her sense of civic responsibility.

Precinct bailiff Keith Varnado told The Enterprise-Journal that Emmitt Booth was coming in the South McComb Baptist Church in southern Mississippi to vote when he collapsed.

"He was coming in the door and as he was getting ready to open the door, he collapsed," bailiff Keith Varnado said. "I felt him stop breathing."

He was taken to the hospital where Pike County Coroner Jason Jones said he later died.

But precinct worker Ericka Johnson said his wife, Marie, returned to the precinct later in the day to vote.

Pike County Election Commission Chair Trudy Berger said it was sad that Booth died before he was able to vote but that it was a testament to his wife's sense of civic responsibility that she came back to cast her ballot.

"She said that's what her husband would have wanted her to do," Berger said.

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