Congresswoman Sues Over Change in Election Day

Rep. Angie Craig doesn't want voting in her race postponed from November to February
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 29, 2020 1:30 PM CDT
Candidate's Death Leads to Lawsuit in Minnesota
Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn., wants voters to decide on her seat next month instead of in February.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Democratic Rep. Angie Craig is seeking a court order requiring that the November election in her Minnesota congressional race be held as scheduled instead of being delayed until February because a third-party candidate died, per the AP. Craig, who is seeking a second term in a competitive suburban and rural district south of the Twin Cities, said Monday that federal law requires the contest be held as part of the November general election. And she warned that the district would go without congressional representation for several weeks if the election is delayed. Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon postponed the 2nd District election after Adam Weeks, the Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate for the seat, died Sept. 21. Legal Marijuana Now has major party status in Minnesota because it received at least 5% of the vote in a recent election.

Simon said state law requires that if a major party nominee dies within 79 days of Election Day, a special election must be held for that office on the second Tuesday in February. If the state law is enforced, Craig would have to vacate the seat when her term expires Jan. 3 and it would remain vacant until the winner of the special election is declared. Craig is facing a challenge from Republican Tyler Kistner, a Marine Corps veteran making his first run for office. She has urged her supporters to mark their ballots for her and other Democrats, even though the votes for her seat may not be counted if the state law stands. Craig would be expected to benefit from the high turnout on Election Day, while Kistner's chances would be expected to improve in a special election, in which Republicans tend to benefit from the lower turnout.

(More Minnesota stories.)

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