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Minnesota leaders doubtful of Trump voter fraud claims

"President Trump's claim that millions of ineligible votes were cast nationwide in the last election is false and irresponsible. The president's comments have rightfully drawn strong bipartisan condemnation, are an attack on American democracy, and could have the dangerous effect of undermining confidence in the electoral system. Minnesota has rigorous safety measures in place before, on, and after Election Day to ensure our elections are fair and secure." - Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon.

Politicians in Minnesota reacted with varying degrees of skepticism to President Donald Trump's assertion that millions of people voted fraudulently in the 2016 election and his call for an investigation into the matter.

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, a Republican from Nisswa, said he could only speak for Minnesota, but voter fraud didn't seem to be a problem in the state. Recounts that have taken place in the state changed vote tallies only slightly, he pointed out Friday.

"I'm not worried about that in Minnesota," he said. "I don't know what's happening around the country—I don't know if he's seeing information I'm not seeing—but at least in Minnesota, I think it runs very well."

In a press release, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, a DFLer, used harsher language to describe Trump's idea.

"President Trump's claim that millions of ineligible votes were cast nationwide in the last election is false and irresponsible," Simon stated. "The president's comments have rightfully drawn strong bipartisan condemnation, are an attack on American democracy, and could have the dangerous effect of undermining confidence in the electoral system. Minnesota has rigorous safety measures in place before, on, and after Election Day to ensure our elections are fair and secure."

Simon went on to state the fact Minnesota had the highest voter turnout out of every state in 2016 was evidence its citizens had confidence in its voting system.

"I'm interested to see what the president has in mind for this 'investigation,' but I see no justification for such an investigation and I'm confident that the claim of millions of ineligible voters will remain unfounded," Simon stated.

Rep. Dale Lueck, R-Aitkin, was satisfied with the integrity of votes in his rural district.

"Almost everybody knows everybody there," he said. "It's kind of hard to slide in there and do some real foul play."

However, the state of Minnesota should continue to maintain accurate voting rolls, and make certain the identities of people intending to vote are verified, he said.

"Our society is so mobile today, people can very quickly change jobs, move all over the place on pretty short notice, so we need to be flexible there," he said.

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