MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Heather Brown is answering several good questions from viewers. Here we go:

Emily from St. Louis Park always gets fruits flies this time of year. She wants to know: Where do they fruit flies come from?

According to Jeff Hahn, an entomologist at the University of Minnesota, they come from the outside. They are attracted to the smell of rotting or very ripe fruits and vegetables.

Sometimes people bring them in with food. Often, they enter homes through open windows, cracks or even spaces smaller than screens.

Doug from Nevis and Linda from Ham Lake want to know what happens if someone submits an absentee ballot, but dies before election Day. Does that absentee ballot count?

No, according Hennepin County Elections, the ballot is pulled and gets rejected.

“You have to be alive on Election Day to be able to vote,” says Ginny Gelms, director of Elections in Hennepin County.

Gelms says sometimes family or friends or neighbors will tell the election board someone has passed away. The county election departments also gets regular updates on deaths from the Minnesota Department of Health.

And, Siabzoo from Brooklyn Park asks: Why is a nickel bigger than a dime?

According to the U.S. Treasury, back in 1793, coins were sized in proportion to the metallic content of the silver dollar. The five-cent coin, which was called the half-dime at the time, had 1/20 the silver. The coin was so small it was difficult to handle.

In 1866, the U.S. Mint changed the silver/copper half-dime to a larger copper/nickel five-cent coin we know today.

Heather Brown