North Dakota Man Who Died of COVID-19 Seems To Have Won His Election

The year of a Presidential election is often turbulent, but the year of a pandemic is even more complicated.

With all of the talk about candidates and voting, it’s easy to forget for a moment that we’re in the middle of a pandemic, but we are. COVID-19 is still very real, and if you need a reminder, the election is here to give you just that.

The President is far from the only position and issue people voted for on Tuesday. Every state and district has it’s own issues and open offices on the ballot, and in North Dakota, voters needed to elect someone for the state legislature. 

Republican David Andahl was running for state legislature in North Dakota, and he won. That’s great except for the fact that he died of COVID-19 in October.

According to Andahl’s family, the 55-year-old had a very short battle with COVID-19. In a Facebook post, the family wrote, “He was very cautious especially because he did have a few health challenges, but he was unable to fend off this disease.” His battle with COVID-19 only lasted four days from the time he first noticed symptoms of the virus to the time he breathed his last breath.

His family went on to describe Andahl as “a kind, caring man whose greatest joy was helping others.” They also mentioned how much he “was looking forward to the opportunity to serve in the state legislature. We are sad that his wish will not come to pass.”

We do not know if voters realized they were voting for a man who passed away or not, but regardless, he won. The obvious question is what happens now?

According to North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, “If a deceased candidate receives the majority of the votes, the candidate is elected; however, if the prevailing candidate has died, the candidate is no longer qualified and a vacancy will exist. State law provides the process to fill vacancies of a legislative office.” According to the StarTribune, the Republican party will choose Andahl’s replacement.