Deceased candidate still on ballot in Minnesota congressional race

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The 2nd Congressional District race in Minnesota is considered one of the tightest and possibly one of the most expensive House contests in the country with the latest KSTP/Survey USA showing there is a one-point lead for Democratic incumbent, Angie Craig, over Republican challenger, Tyler Kistner.

Legal Marijuana Now candidate, Paula Overby, died October 5 but her name will legally remain on the ballot and the KSTP/Survey USA poll indicates 5-percent of the voters in the 2nd District intended to vote for her.

Professor Larry Jacobs, at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS there are probably early ballots already submitted with votes for Overby.

“In fact, we’ve had thousands of ballots cast in the 2nd Congressional District, because people are casting early ballots,” said Jacobs. “And so they’ve mailed in their ballots and some of them, most likely, have voted for a candidate who’s no longer alive.”

Jacobs said the congressional race is so close that votes for Overby could end up deciding who wins the seat November 9.

In 2020, Legal Marijuana Now candidate Adam Weeks died a month-and-a-half prior to the November election in the 2nd Congressional District which was eventually won by Craig, by two percentage points, over Kistner.

“But, 2020 was a Democratic year and so the incumbent, Angie Craig, it was a close race, but she had a margin,” said Jacobs. “This time around, it’s likely to be even closer that it was in 2020 and literally every vote counts.”

“And so you’ve got Overby’s name on the ballot and she has since deceased and the ballots cast for her could be the difference between which candidates wins or loses,” said Jacobs.

Jacobs said federal election laws do allow voters who’ve already mailed in votes for Overby to change their votes, but they have to do so within one week of the election.