A Republican candidate who died of COVID-19 has just been elected to the North Dakota state legislature in today’s
shitshow US election.
David Andahl, 55, died on October 5 after a battle with COVID-19 but remained on the ballot. He ended up winning one of the two seats up for grabs with 35.53% of the vote.
The candidate’s mum, Pat Andahl, told the Bismarck Tribune she had “no idea” how her son contracted the coronavirus.
“He had a lot of feelings for his county and his country and wanting to make things better, and his heart was in farming,” she said.
“He wanted things better for farmers and the coal industry. So many things he was very passionate about, and was hoping that he could get into the Legislature and be of some help.
“He was looking forward to it. He was looking forward to being part of that.”
Obviously, authorities (but not necessarily voters) knew the man was dead before he got elected.
Secretary of State Al Jaeger told the Grand Forks Herald that “there’s no way to remove” Andahl from the ballot.
“At this point he can’t be replaced on the ballot, but people can still vote for him,” he added.
However the contingency plan in these cases is to still count the votes as usual, and then to fill their spot like they would any other kind of casual vacancy.
Andahl’s election serves as a grim testament to just how chaotic the election has been, and just how seriously the coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the United States.
According to the CDC, there have been almost 10 million cases and over 230 thousands deaths across the country.
Having a political candidate die from the disease was bound to happen with those odds, but it still says a lot about how the pandemic’s been managed, and people’s attitudes towards social distancing.
Amdahl had no partner or children, but he left behind his Rottweiler, Hank, who his mum said was “the love of his life”.