The state attorney clarified that the deceased candidate will leave a vacancy that will be called in another election, but his votes will be counted
A candidate for the North Dakota House of Representatives won the elections on Tuesday despite the fact that he died a few weeks ago from complications derived from the coronavirus , a disease he was infected with during the election campaign.
The local media in the Bismarck area reported the victory of the deceased, David Andahl, who was a member of the Republican Party and died on October 6 at the age of 55, after being rushed to a hospital.
The Andahl’s triumph is explained by the record increase in the vote by mail in these elections held in the middle of the pandemic, since many ballots arrived before the tragic news.
After the candidate’s death, Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem explained that he could still participate in the electoral process, since the displaced military and the overseas vote began 46 days in advance.
In addition, the first voters were able to send their ballots 40 days before the elections.
According to the ABC network, the prosecutor insisted on Tuesday that the ballots with votes in favor of Andahl should be counted according to US law.
“If a deceased candidate receives the majority of the votes, the candidate is elected,” he said.
“However, if the candidate has passed away, then he is unqualified and there will be a vacancy. State law contemplates the process to fill vacancies in a legislative office, ”he added.
The politician’s mother, Pat Andahl, assured the local newspaper The Bismarck Tribune that her son had been “very careful” during the pandemic and was passionate about the idea of serving in public office.
“He had a lot of feelings for his county and wanted to improve things. His heart was in agriculture. I wanted better things for farmers and the coal industry, “he said.
Andahl was a rancher and farmer who worked for the Burleigh County Town Planning Commission for 16 years.