Voters fill in their ballots in the US midterm election
Voters fill in their ballots in the US midterm election Reuters

Officials in Nevada are scrambling to fill a state legislature seat opening created on Tuesday, when voters overwhelmingly backed a candidate who had been declared dead three weeks earlier.

As part of the midterm elections on Tuesday, voters in Nevada headed to the polls to select representatives for the state legislature, including the Nevada Assembly, the legislature’s lower chamber.

In the Nevada Assembly’s 36th district, school administrator Lesia Ramonov, a Democrat, was defeated by 72-year-old brothel owner Dennis Hof by a more than two-to-one margin 68.3% to 31.7% - despite the fact that Hof died three weeks to the day before Tuesday’s election.

Voters in the largely rural 36th district backed Hof despite signs at polling places notifying them of Hof’s death.

Election officials had already prepared ballots for Tuesday’s midterm elections – which in Nevada included highly competitive Senate and gubernatorial races – and did not issue new ballots removing Hof’s name before the vote.

County officials in the 36th district will now be required to fill the vacant seat. According to Nevada state procedures, county commissions in each county which is included in the district will nominate replacements, then vote on the replacements. Each county will receive votes proportional to its share of the overall population in the district.