Neighboring states like to give each other a hard time. It goes all the way back to the time of Sparta and Athens. It can be because of political views, sports rivalries, or just people in one state think that those in another state is weird.

There’s been a lot of that mostly good-natured ribbing in the Upper Midwest. Minnesota vs. Wisconsin ribbing has been going on for as long as I can remember, and it’s because of all of the things just mentioned. Wisconsin gives it back to Minnesota just as often. Minnesota also takes its occasional shots at Iowa because, well, it’s Iowa.

The Dakotas are in play occasionally as well but not as often as the other two. But when those times do happen to come up, it’s usually because one of the two just did something that made you do a hard facepalm.

Last year it was South Dakota’s ad campaign for their meth problem with their tag line “Meth, we’re on it.” They were trying to do something different and really draw attention to the problem. They did. They also drew criticism.

Maybe that meth worked it’s way up north because this year, it’s North Dakota who opened themselves to getting ripped on by their neighbors. That's because, on Tuesday, the majority of North Dakotans decided to vote for the Republican candidate, David Andahl. He was running for the state House of Representatives. The problem wasn’t what political party he was in or what issues he was running on.

The problem was - he was dead.

David Andahl had died about a month before the election from the COVID-19 coronavirus. So, the state that is leading the country in COVID cases per capita had just voted for a candidate who died from it. Then to top it off, officials let voters vote for the deceased candidate, saying:

"To disregard the votes cast for a candidate would disenfranchise the voters of the state," - State Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem via

So basically, it's totally acceptable to vote for a person who is dead. What?!?!

The whole thing reminded me of the movie “The Distinguished Gentlemen.” It could be Eddie Murphy’s most underrated film. It’s a comedy that is truer to the inner workings of politics than most “political” movies are.

The premise is: A congressman dies before the election. Eddie plays a con man who has the same name and decides to run for Congress because, as he says, nobody really pays attention to who they’re voting for anyway, they just vote for the name they know.

People also vote the party line. Not really knowing the person they are voting for.

North Dakota just made life imitate art - and became the new target for neighboring states to make fun of.

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