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MN Officials Cite Few Election Problems, Group Checks Possible Fraud

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(credit: CBS) Pat Kessler
Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics. He's been on the beat long...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota voters came out in record numbers this year.

Nearly 3 million voters went to the polls. The Secretary of State’s Office says the election was run smoothly, and virtually problem-free.

But that’s not what critics have been saying for the last two years.

Model For The Nation?

Sen. Katie Sieben, the incoming head of the Senate Elections Committee, says Minnesota is a model for the nation.

“Actually, we have a very good election system with elected officials who are committed to carrying out elections in as fair a way as we possibly can,” Sieben said.

The Secretary of State’s Office reports that 2,950,780 votes were cast, including 267,464 absentee votes. Moreover, 527,867 voters registered to vote on Election Day.

Alleged Fraud

“We have strong evidence that there are indicators of fraud,” said Dan McGrath, a spokesman for a conservative election watchdog group Minnesota Majority.

He says his group is reviewing same day registration forms for possible fraud, and seeking election records from precincts in at least four counties.

“We had reports on Election Day … vouching fraud in progress, we had eyewitnesses saying we saw people vouching for each other — people they didn’t believe lived in the precinct — and they’re getting away with it,” McGrath said.

He added: “There is still a lot to look into.”

McGrath led the campaign to pass the constitutional amendment requiring voter ID.

Polls, however, say voters overwhelmingly said no to the amendment.

McGrath’s critics say he hasn’t shown any solid evidence of fraud.

“There doesn’t appear to be any sort of problems of that kind,” Sieben said.

She added that fraud is all but non-existent in Minnesota. The biggest election problem in Minnesota, according to her, is long lines at the polls. And that’s likely to be the first issue the Elections Committee tackles when it convenes next year.

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