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Peterson may determine presidential election

To the editor:

As the presidential election approaches, the likelihood that the results will be contested are increasing. Donald Trump and his supporters are casting doubt on the legitimacy of mail-in-voting, and Joe Biden is creating a legal team of hundreds of lawyers in preparation for a legal battle over election results while his supporters urge him not to concede “under any circumstances.”

It is the role of Congress to certify each state’s electoral results, but if there is a tie or no candidate secures at least 270 electoral votes, then the 12th Amendment says that the House of Representatives would vote from the top three candidates (based upon how many electoral votes they have captured). The results would determine the next president.

In this case, each state gets one vote which is decided by the representatives from that state. States such as North Dakota would give their vote to whomever their single representative chooses, but larger states would need to vote as a delegation. In Minnesota, that delegation would consist of our eight congressional representatives.

Currently, Republicans have a majority delegation in 26 states, but as Democrats are projected to gain in the House, these delegations could flip. Alaska is becoming a close race, and with their one representative, a Democratic victory would flip them to be a Democratic majority delegation.

Minnesota currently has five Democratic congressional representatives and three Republican representatives meaning the delegation would likely vote for Joe Biden. Democrats have two safe seats in Districts 4 and 5 and one likely Democratic seat in District 3. District 2 is currently Democratic but could be a close race since the District went to Trump by one point while Angie Craig (DFL) carried the District by six points in 2018. Collin Peterson’s District 7 voted for Trump overwhelmingly while Peterson still carried the district by five points. A victory by Peterson this year could secure Minnesota’s vote for Joe Biden by maintaining a majority of Democratic representatives in the state. Otherwise, if District 2 were to flip, a Peterson victory could prevent Minnesota’s delegation from flipping to a Republican delegation and thus voting for Donald Trump. In a contested race, Collin Peterson could be the vote Joe Biden needs to win and the vote to thwart Trump.

Troy Timmerman

Marshall

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