Military wife travels from Texas to make sure her vote is counted

By Jessica Savage| November 3, 2020 at 5:21 PM EST - Updated November 3 at 7:13 PM 

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A theme we’ve heard this election season is people are determined to make their vote count.

For a military wife who was worried her mailed absentee ballot wouldn’t make it in time - by 7 p.m. Tuesday - she had a backup plan with the support of her husband and friends.

Jenny Gamel’s backup voting plan involved a plane ticket, a car rental and sheer determination.

“I knew there was a chance that today it could be received, but I couldn’t risk just not having my voice heard and a vote count,” Gamel said.

She’s married to an Army Ranger on assignment in Austin, Texas. Both of them mailed in their absentee ballots last Monday. After several days went by, she called the Chatham County Board of Elections to understand her options.

“And she said basically, ‘if we don’t receive it, your vote won’t count.’ And she actually said the words ‘Your vote won’t count.’ From there that’s when I started thinking could I? And started looking at flights and toying around with the idea.”

Yesterday afternoon - could I? turned into yes.

“There was one flight to Atlanta. I just went with it. My husband helped throw stuff in the car and on the way to the airport I booked a rental car.”

Seven months pregnant with her two small children, Jenny arrived in Atlanta late last night. And then made the three and a half hour drive to Savannah.

They arrived at 3 a.m. - her status then - not received. Around 9 a.m. Tuesday morning, Jenny was ready to brave the lines at her precinct.

“Let me just check to make sure, and there it was.”

Her husband’s ballot was received Tuesday afternoon.

“Either way, my vote was going to get there somehow. from them receiving it finally or me going to the polls and I can rest easy knowing my vote is in.”

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Photo: WTOC

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