'Injustice': Florida man dies without seeing vote counted, due to signature dispute

Thomas Korinko is pictured here with his grandson in an undated family photo.

Thomas Korinko is pictured here with his grandson in an undated family photo.

It was one of Thomas Korinko's dying wishes to cast his presidential vote in the battleground state of Florida.

But Korinko -- whose family's struggle to get local officials to accept his ballot signature was highlighted in local media last week -- died Friday from cancer, his son told 

He did not get to see his early vote for Donald Trump counted.

Korinko's mail-in ballot -- postmarked Oct. 25 -- had been discounted when officials ruled his frail signature did not match that on his voter registration, according to his family. His family challenged the decision, to no avail. 

"This was a man who knew he was going to die. There were a lot of things for him to think about. And one of the things at the top of the list was that he voted," his son, Jeff Korinko, told Tuesday. 

He argued that the dispute with the state goes beyond his father's wishes, arguing that the signature-matching requirement discounts thousands of votes. 

"That’s an injustice," he said. "These are all elderly people – people don’t walk the same, they don’t talk the same when they’re older. And they don’t write the same."

Thomas Korinko was diagnosed with liver cancer seven months ago and died Friday in a hospice in Tavares.

In Florida, the signature on every mail-in ballot is compared to the voter registration signature on file to prevent fraud. Florida officials did send Korinko a subsequent affidavit to sign on Oct. 31, according to his son, but Korinko was unable to sign the document because his health had rapidly deteriorated.

"They sent the form, but by the time he got it, he was sleeping all the time and too ill," Jeff Korinko said.

A spokeswoman for the Lake County Supervisor of Elections was not immediately available when contacted Tuesday.

For Korinko, who knew he was dying, the chance to vote one last time was critical, his son said. Korinko lived in a key battleground state and wanted his vote to count for those he'd leave behind -- like his three sons and grandchildren.

"He wanted to make sure that he voted," Jeff Korinko said, noting the balance of power in the Supreme Court was among the most important issues for his father.

"What he felt strongly about was the ideals set forth by the Republicans. He just felt the Republicans were a more honest party," he said of his father, a former truck driver who grew up in Chicago with parents who were Democrats.

"He was sick of Washington. Donald Trump was very refreshing. He wanted to vote for him and in the end they didn’t let him," he said.

Cristina Corbin is a Fox News reporter based in New York. Follow her on Twitter @CristinaCorbin.