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Ambulance makes stop to allow sick 83-year-old to vote

From Logan Burruss, CNN
  • Charles Gorby is a retired doctor from Havertown, Pennsylvania
  • Gorby was on his way home from the hospital
  • He says he has never failed to vote since he returned from World War II

(CNN) -- An 83-year-old man cast his ballot from a stretcher after persuading an ambulance crew taking him home from the hospital to detour to his local polling station.

Retired doctor Charles Gorby said he has never missed an election since he returned from World War II. He was not about to miss his first one on Tuesday.

"I imposed upon the ambulance crew if they could take me about a block beyond where I live to the firehouse where we vote in my area," said Gorby of Havertown, Pennsylvania.

"I made sure they didn't have an urgent commitment that would make that request irresponsible."

Carole Lieblein, a poll watcher at the station, said the EMT was unsure of the request.

"The ambulance pulled up and the EMT came in and said he had a gentleman with him who wanted to vote," she said,chuckling as she recalled the emergency medical technician's expression of, "Can I really ask this?"

After the judge of election deemed the request appropriate, Gorby said, the main doors to the fire station opened to allow the stretcher into the building.

Other people in line moved aside, and a voting booth was selected, he said.

"My feet and legs were sticking out," Gorby said.

He was in and out in about five minutes, Lieblein said.

"We all wished we had a camera," she said. "Everybody was very impressed that this gentleman was that determined to vote."

Gorby, a World War II veteran, said he enlisted when he was 17.

"At that time, you could not vote until you were 21, and I was one of those who thought my God, you could get shot for the country but you could not vote."

If he had not made it to the polls, Gorby said it would have been the first time he has failed to vote.

"He hasn't missed an election since he's been back from World War II, he's outstanding guy, and we'd do anything for him," said Mike Fasone of Wissinoming volunteer ambulance.

CNN's Sarah Hoye Contributed to this report.