Reality Check: How Many Ballots Were Illegally Cast In Minnesota?

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Minnesota election officials say there were only a handful of voter irregularities in last year’s presidential election.

That’s despite allegations by President Donald Trump that millions of ballots were cast illegally across the country last year, including in Minnesota.

The official voting records are filed by all 87 Minnesota counties to Secretary of State Steve Simon, who says there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

“We’re talking about a couple of handfuls of people out of a state of 3 million,” Simon said.

Local prosecutors report 18 possible voting crimes in 12 Minnesota counties, mostly outside the Twin Cities.

The counties are: Crow Wing, Fillmore, Mower, Pope, Watonwan, Wright, Yellow Medicine, Scott, Kandiyohi, Pope, Olmstead, and LeSeur.

Fourteen of the incidents involved convicted felons who registered and voted.

One was a non-U.S. citizen. Another may have voted twice. And yet another wasn’t eligible to vote in the district.

“They are people who made a mistake,” Simon said. “They are people who — at least allegedly — thought they were eligible to vote, when they weren’t.”

Simon provided the voter report at the request of WCCO-TV, after the president claimed — without evidence — that 3.5 million votes were cast illegally in 2016.

Simon says if that were true, Minnesota’s share of illegal votes would have been 60,000, not 18.

“There’s just nothing there to indicate that kind of thing,” Simon said. “Minnesota has a really, really strong history of very clean, very fair, very well-run elections.”

Minnesota’s 18 voter irregularities were found by local election officials and investigated by 12 county attorneys, but there’s no word yet on how many, if any, will be prosecuted.

Currently, Minnesota is one of several states refusing to provide personal voter data to the president’s Election Integrity Commission.

Minnesota was one of the first states to refuse to cooperate with the commission, which Simon called “questionable.”

The commission has now sent letters to all 50 states and has put its voter data request on hold until a court decides if it is legal.

More from Pat Kessler
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