A second dead Democrat candidate has stormed to victory with a landslide win in their election.
Tennessee state Rep. Barbara Cooper, a Democrat, died on October 25 at the age of 93, two weeks before Election Day.
According to WATN, election officials were unable to remove Cooper’s name from the ballot following her “unexpected” death.
Despite her well-publicized death, Democrat Cooper crushed her opponent, independent Michael Porter, by 7,999 votes to 2,942, according to WHBQ.
Cooper had represented the 86th state House district for 26 years, according to WSMV.
Officials argue that people voted for Copper on Election Day because they were unaware of her passing, despite apparently being her supporters.
In Tennessee, voters can only vote by mail if they have a “statutory reason.”
Those reasons include age, absence from the country, jury duty, physical disability, and so forth, according to the Tennessee secretary of state’s website.
However, you can also vote early in person for no reason at all, typically up to 20 days prior to the election, “purely for the sake of convenience.”
Early voting this year began on October 19, six days before Cooper’s death.
There is probably no way ever to know exactly how many of the ballots cast in this race were cast in this 6-day window prior to Oct. 25 “purely for the sake of convenience.”
It’s also unknown how many were cast on Election Day itself by voters who didn’t know about the death of their favorite candidate because Cooper’s name remained on the ballot.
Either way, Cooper’s 7,999 votes accounted for almost 80% of the entire ballots cast in her election.
The Shelby County Election Commission told WATN that Cooper’s name remained on the Shelby County ballot “as mandated by state law.”
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of my longtime colleague and dear friend, Barbara Cooper,” House Minority Leader Karen Camper told WSMV.
“She was a warrior for her community and the City of Memphis, a tireless advocate on education and equality issues, and just a delightful person.
“We will all miss her,” she added.
Since Cooper obviously cannot serve, Tennessee’s Republican Gov. Bill Lee will now have to issue a Writ of Election to set the date for a special election to fill her seat.
Cooper’s win is the second election victory for a dead Democrat candidate during this year’s midterms.
As Slay News reported Wednesday, Democrat Tony DeLuca won his election by a landslide in Pennsylvania, despite having died last month.
DeLuca was the longest-serving member of the Pennsylvania state House of Representatives and won his reelection by a huge margin on Tuesday.
DeLuca won with 86% of the vote compared to Green Party challenger Queonia “Zarah” Livingston’s 14%.
However, DeLuca died on October 9 at age 85 after battling lymphoma.
Pennsylvania Democrats argue that voters cast their ballots for a dead candidate because they wanted to celebrate DeLuca’s “Democratic values.”
“While we’re incredibly saddened by the loss of Representative Tony DeLuca, we are proud to see the voters to continue to show their confidence in him and his commitment to Democratic values by re-electing him posthumously,” the Pennsylvania House Democrats said in a statement.