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Among a hundred voters, only a few whose initial preferences were uncertain will vote differently about a school issue if their precinct is located in a school rather that in a church - but a few percent could tip an election.

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    Tip something - "to turn the trend of favor, control, etc" . For instance, Martians wanted to tip the election in favor of Mr. Smith.
    – Anatolii
    Feb 1 '20 at 14:23
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Similarly to tip the balance​/​scales (please read more here):

to give someone or something enough of an advantage to influence a result or decision

You could translate tip the election as:

to give someone or something enough of an advantage to influence a result of the election.

For example, Martians wanted to tip the election in favor of Mr. Smith.

Update

As noted by @Lambie, tip the election can be also translated as tip the balance or scales of the election.

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  • tip the election is short for tip the balance or scales of the election. But you genera idea is fine.
    – Lambie
    Feb 1 '20 at 19:22
  • @Lambie Thanks for your feedback! I've added your remark to the answer.
    – Anatolii
    Feb 1 '20 at 22:24

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