Kevin Wallevand, Forum Communications, Published November 02 2012
VIDEO: Only in North Dakota will your vote count even if you're deadFARGO - Twenty-seven election ballots have been tossed out in Minnesota so far this fall. Not because of a mistake. Its because the voter died.
So what happens when Grandpa decides to vote absentee ballot, then dies before Election Day?
At least once a week, Shannon Morin of the Clay County Auditor's office carefully studies The Forum and newspapers of Barnesville, Hawley and Ulen-Hitterdal. She's not looking for coupons, but obituaries.
"I am sure people do not know we go through obits and we mark those voters records and keep them up to date," said Clay County Auditor Lori Johnson.
And with days to go before the election, the Clay auditors office is closely cross checking obits with absentee ballots. If someone recently died and voted absentee, the ballot is pulled and the name removed from the voter registration list.
"Then we have accurate rosters on Election Day," Johnson said.
But not so in North Dakota, since it is the only state in the nation without voter registration. You can vote absentee days before the election, drop dead and only in North Dakota.
"If they voted before they died in North Dakota, their vote still counts," said Mike Montplaisir, the Cass County auditor.
Nothing like a vote from heaven.
Election judges and polling site workers also work with county auditors offices on Election Day in Minnesota, to alert them of recent deaths of voters in their precinct.