Elections are normally limited to living persons. Before running for office, various prerequisites must often be completed, such as a minimum age or residency in the area to be governed. It almost goes without saying that you should have a pulse. But none of that has stopped dead individuals from defeating living opponents, often by large margins, to gain seats they will never occupy. Voters were frequently aware that the candidate they were voting for had died, yet they still went out to vote for them. In all cases, the deceased winners died before their elections, but their names remained on the ballots for legal reasons. 1- Gary Ernst Gary Ernst, who died in 2016, was elected treasurer of Oceanside, California. Voters and city council members were aware of Ernst’s death but voted for him anyhow because they did not want his challenger, Nadine Scott, to win the position. Jerry Kern, a councilor, famously advised supporters to vote for the deceased Ernst so that Kern could choose someone else to fill the job. After Ernst died, Nadine Scott informed prospective voters that Ernst was no longer alive and asked them to vote for her instead because she was the only candidate left. She was defeated in the election despite receiving 15,500 votes. Ernst received 17,659. Despite losing the election, Scott asked the city council to appoint her as treasurer. 2- Hale Boggs and Nick Begich A Cessna 310 plane went missing while flying from Anchorage to Juneau, Alaska, on October 16, 1972. Among the five men on board were Democrats Hale Boggs (left) and Nick Begich (right). Boggs and Begich were both members of the United States House of Representatives at the time; Boggs was the majority leader, while Begich represented Alaska. Both were running for re-election. When their jet went missing, they were actually flying for a campaign. As a result, Congress mandated that all planes travelling in the United States be equipped with emergency locators. A huge search was undertaken to locate the missing airliner. For 39 days, 90 civilian and military aircraft flew over 842,000 square kilometers (325,000 mi2) of land for a total of more than 3,600 hours. At the time, it was the greatest search and rescue operation in US history. The plane was never discovered. In response, Congress mandated that all planes flying in the United States be outfitted with emergency locating transmitters. Boggs’ death sparked a slew of conspiracy theories. He was a member of the Warren Commission, which was tasked with investigating the killing of John F. Kennedy. Boggs never agreed with the commission’s conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald was acting alone. He was adamant that at least one other individual had fired a shot at Kennedy. Boggs and Begich were reelected despite being dead. Boggs’s wife, Lindy, won a special election to replace him and won further elections until 1991. Don Young, a Republican and Begich’s competitor during the election, won the special election to replace Begich and every subsequent election until 2008. 3- Mel Carnahan Despite his death three weeks earlier, Missouri governor Mel Carnahan was elected to Congress as one of the state’s two senators in 2000. The late Senator Mel Carnahan defeated incumbent John Ashcroft with 1,075,872 votes (50%) to Ashcroft’s 1,039,409 votes (49%). Despite having collaborated for several years, both candidates were locked in a heated battle for the seat. Carnahan served as Missouri’s vice governor under Ashcroft. Carnahan was named governor after Ashcroft’s tenure ended and he moved to the Senate. Carnahan decided to run for senator after finishing his second term as governor. He was killed in a plane crash with his son and an aide just three weeks before the election, therefore he never made it to the Senate. Because the election was so close, his name could not be removed from the ballot. Carnahan’s party spent $700,000 on advertising showing his late wife, Jean, urging voters to support her late husband. Roger Wilson, Missouri’s lieutenant governor, who was appointed to the governor after Carnahan’s death, told Jean that he would choose her to fill her husband’s seat in the US Senate. 4- Carl Robin Geary In 2010, Carl Robin Geary was elected mayor of Tracy City, Tennessee. He was never elected mayor, however, because he died of a heart attack shortly before the election. Voters were informed of Geary’s death, but they still voted for him because they did not want his opponent and incumbent mayor, Barbara Brock, to remain in office. Barbara received 85 votes, while Geary received 268 votes. Voters were so angry up with Brock that one man stated that if Geary ran for reelection, he would vote for him. As a result of her defeat, Mrs. Brock now had a distinct political profile. She was elected mayor in 2008 when the previous mayor died in office. 5- Roger Freeman Roger Freeman died while campaigning for a seat in the Washington state senate just six days before the election in 2014. He had finished his first term and was about to begin his second when he died of colon cancer on October 29, 2014. However, he went on to win the race. Following Freeman’s victory, the councils of King and Pierce counties, which Freeman was supposed to represent in the state legislature, were required to elect one of the Democratic Party’s three nominees to replace Freeman. The Democrats put forward three candidates, but both county councils were undecided. They were confused whether they should vote in a joint session or separately to choose Freeman’s replacement. The councils remained divided until the 60-day period allowed by statute expired. This provided Governor Jay Inslee the authority to appoint one of the nominees as a state legislator. Carol Gregory, whom the Democratic Party sought to replace Freeman, was appointed by Inslee.