Michigan nurse drives across the country to cast her ballot in person

Woman was concerned absentee ballot wouldn’t arrive on time

Michigan nurse drives across the country to cast her ballot in person
Michigan nurse drives across the country to cast her ballot in person

DETROIT – We’re seeing this election cycle that a lot of Americans have a renewed fervor when it comes to voting -- but there are some much more committed than others.

One woman drove halfway across the country to cast her vote. There has been a lot of concern this year about voting by mail, absentee voting and how long it’s going to take to count votes.

READ: Live Michigan election updates: 2.6 million absentee ballots turned in

One Michigan woman, who actually resides in Florida, decided she only had one option. She decided she had to drive 2,200 miles to ensure her ballot gets counted.

Maternity nurse Gabrielle Dopico takes her voting very seriously.

“If you don’t vote, you’re giving the other party 2 points. So, that’s my take, I’ve always thought it was a civic duty,” she said. “Six years ago I moved to Florida and my husband was going to come down with me but he got a good job here.”

READ: Electoral College vs. popular vote in the United States: What to know

The couple traveled to Florida and back. Then COVID-19 hit and she came back to Michigan and found a job here.

“I quit my job in the hospital in Florida because my husband had some health issues and he had to continue care here, so I just decided, ‘I’m going to come and be with him here and help him out,'" she said.

Then, all of a sudden, Election Day crept up on them.

“My husband votes by mail, but I told him, ‘We’re not going to do that,'” she said. “Since we’re going down there, we’re going to drop it off in the ballot box right there.”

She was also worried her haphazard driver’s license signature might not match her ballot. So they drove down and back the weekend of Oct. 16. They did spend some time with family, but casting their votes was first and foremost.

She said they sat 35 minutes in a line in the Orlando rain, but did cast their votes. She is said she is a lifelong Michigan resident but it’s likely the couple will move permanently to Florida.

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About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.