Could Minnesota Voter Fraud Swing the Election to Hillary?

After I wrote a post on voter fraud in Minnesota earlier today, a frequent email correspondent wrote:

Nate Silver (I think it was) just published an electoral college scenario in which Minnesota becomes the Florida of 2016, reprising 2000. Trump wins Ohio, Iowa, Nevada and Florida while retaining the Romney states…EXCEPT Utah, which votes improbably for Evan McMullen. He also wins one elector in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District. That results in Hillary having 262 EVs (without Minnesota), McMullin with 6 and Trump with 260. Minnesota’s 10 EVs would then be decisive.

Apparently it might be close because the Iron Range districts, reliably DFL for decades, home of Jim Oberstar, are now overwhelmingly for Trump! That could tip Minnesota or make the state exceedingly close. If the election is indeterminate in Minnesota, with no majority would the House elect Trump? McMullin??!!!

I haven’t worked through the numbers, and I think we all can agree that this scenario is improbable. But if the election did turn on Minnesota, it would be worse than Florida 2000. In Florida, the issues were hanging chads, butterfly ballots, etc. As I recall, there were no serious issues of voter fraud; at least, none that figured in the post-election controversies. Minnesota, on the other hand, is notorious for its lax voting procedures, and a close election here could easily be subject to valid claims that it was “rigged,” as Donald Trump likes to say, by voter fraud.

But I don’t expect the presidential vote in Minnesota to be very close. It is true that the Iron Range, and northern Minnesota in general, is strongly pro-Trump. (That sentiment will probably help to elect Power Line Pick Stewart Mills.) Trump also runs quite well in rural Minnesota generally. But he polls poorly in the suburbs and will get shellacked (like all Republicans these days) in the cities. There aren’t enough votes in Greater Minnesota to make it a tight race, in my opinion.

Still, I would like to see the idea that Minnesota voter fraud might swing a presidential election gain currency, just to focus local attention on the state’s porous (if not intentionally pro-fraud) electoral system.

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