Proposed Bill Would Change MN’s Electoral System from Winner-Take-All

Alpha News MN/Preya Samsundar

St. Paul, MN- MN Republicans introduced a bill to change the current electoral system in Minnesota.

On Monday afternoon, House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) introduced House File 406.

The bill, authored by Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen (R-Glencoe), Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa), and Daudt would seek to amend Minnesota Statutes dictating how Minnesota awards electors during a Presidential election.

House Republicans seek to amend two State Statutes.

Minnesota Statute 2016, section 208.3 dictates the nomination of presidential electors and alternates. New language added to the current statute states: “Each major political party shall nominate one presidential elector from each congressional district and two presidential electors from the state at large.” Each congressional district would be allowed one elector each totaling eight electors. The two remaining electors would be statewide electors. Alternates would be designated by the party chair as an at-large elector or congressional elector.

Republicans also added language to section 208.05. It would require an elector to cast their vote based on vote totals in the district they represent. Electors at the state-level would cast their votes based on statewide totals.

If this bill receives a green light from House and Senate Republicans, Minnesota’s designation as a win-or-take-all state would cease to exist.

Minnesota’s electoral count would have looked different if this rule existed during the election. Donald Trump would have split the electoral vote with Secretary Hillary Clinton. Instead of 10 electoral votes for Clinton, Trump would have won 5 electors based on the five congressional districts he won.

Only two states in the U.S. currently award electors based on congressional district votes – Maine and Nebraska. Trump won Nebraska and Nebraska district 2 while Trump and Clinton split the electoral votes in Maine.

The change in presidential election procedure follows the legislature’s decision in December to switch Minnesota from a caucus system to a primary.