Krystal Gabel said she was surprised at 5 a.m. on a recent Friday by a Google alert saying she was a candidate for president of the United States.

The Colorado resident clicked on the alert and learned for the first time that her name had been placed on Minnesota's March 5 presidential primary ballot as a candidate for Minnesota's Legal Marijuana Now Party, she said.

"I did not give consent to be on the Minnesota ballot for this race," Gabel said in an email to the Star Tribune. "I was neither approached to run for office by anyone in the LMN Minnesota Party, nor was this candidacy validated by the State of Minnesota."

Early voting is already underway in Minnesota for the presidential primary, only the second held in the state in decades.

Leaders of the Legal Marijuana Now Party in Minnesota said in an email that they'd been "talking and posting about this in our leadership group on Facebook, which Krystal is a part of." Gabel was involved in the Nebraska Legal Marijuana Now Party in 2015 and 2016. Gabel said she was removed from the Facebook group in August of last year.

"Krystal is a party leader and all indications were that she was ready to be in the MN primary," read the email from the party. "We thought this was all worked out but by her request she has been withdrawn the candidates are now Edward Forchion, Rudy Reyes, Dennis Schuller, Vermin Supreme."

But a spokeswoman for the Minnesota Secretary of State's Office says Gabel has not been taken off the ballot. Under state law, each major party participating in the presidential nomination primary must submit names to the Secretary of State's Office of candidates to appear on their ballot 63 days before the election.

Once submitted, changes must not be made to the list of candidates. Ron DeSantis, Chris Christie and Vivek Ramaswamy will all appear on Minnesota's Republican presidential nomination ballot even though they've recently dropped out of the race.

"People have a common-law right not to be forced to be candidates," said Gabel, who said she now feels trapped on the ballot against her will. "These actions are absolutely anti-democratic."

The Secretary of State's Office said they are not provided with any contact information for candidates by the parties.

"State law requires each major party to determine which candidate names should be placed on the ballot," read a statement from the Secretary of State's Office.

Gabel says it's a loophole in law that she hopes can be fixed. She's also encouraging Minnesotans not to vote for her.

"A flawed loophole exists in Minnesota election law that allows a Major Party like Legal Marijuana NOW! to run anyone for the federal presidential race," Gabel said, "siphoning your votes that could be going to actual candidates."