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NJ Democrat-turned-Republican to object to Electoral College count

Rep. Jefferson Van Drew (R-N.J.) said Wednesday he will not vote to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election when the Congress meets after the first of the year. 

"I won’t be voting to certify the electors," Van Drew said during an interview with The Press of Atlantic City. "It's what I’ve talked about all along. There has been ... a disrespect of millions of Americans who really do believe that something's wrong. It's not a matter of who would win or lose — maybe the results would be the same — but we should abide by the rule of law."

Van Drew, who won his seat representing a large swath of Southern New Jersey, including Atlantic City, as a Democrat, shocked many observers when he switched parties in 2019 and announced his support for President TrumpDonald TrumpUS gives examples of possible sanctions relief to Iran GOP lawmaker demands review over FBI saying baseball shooting was 'suicide by cop' House passes bill aimed at stopping future Trump travel ban MORE

“I believe that this is just a better fit for me,” Van Drew said at the time. “This is who I am.”

Trump carried New Jersey's 2nd Congressional District by nearly 5 points in 2016. Van Drew won a tough reelection fight against a Democratic challenger last month, despite President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenCornyn, Sinema to introduce bill aimed at addressing border surge Harris to travel to Northern Triangle region in June Biden expected to formally recognize Armenian Genocide: report MORE's victory in New Jersey. 
 
The president has claimed that widespread voter fraud led to a "rigged" election against him in key battleground states, prompting his allies on Capitol Hill to warn they would contest Biden's win. 
 
Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksConservative House members call on Senate to oppose ATF nominee House rejects GOP resolution to censure Waters The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - All US adults can get vaccine; decision Friday on J&J vax MORE (Ala.) was the first House Republican to float the idea of contesting the election results once they are sent to Congress for certification. 
 
On Wednesday, Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyOn The Money: Senate GOP faces post-Trump spending brawl | Senate confirms SEC chief Gensler to full five-year term | Left-leaning group raises concerns about SALT cap repeal RNC raises nearly M in record off-year March donations Senate GOP faces post-Trump spending brawl MORE (R-Mo.) became the first Republican in the Upper Chamber to say he, too, would contest Biden's victory when Congress meets to certify the election results on Jan. 6, a move that would trigger a debate and individual votes on the election results.
 
“I cannot vote to certify the electoral college results on Jan. 6 without raising the fact that some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own state election laws," Hawley said. "At the very least, Congress should investigate allegations of voter fraud and adopt measures to secure the integrity of our elections. But Congress has so far failed to act."
 
House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care: Biden: US to hit 200M vaccine target on Wednesday | House Dems to unveil drug pricing measure ahead of Biden package | FDA finds multiple failures at J&J plant House Dems to unveil drug pricing measure ahead of Biden package House Democrats eye passing DC statehood bill for second time MORE (D-Calif.) indicated that she is not worried about a push from House or Senate Republicans to contest the election results. 
 
"I have no doubt that on next Wednesday, a week from today, that Joe Biden will be confirmed by the acceptance of the vote of the Electoral College as the 46th president of the United States," Pelosi told reporters Wednesday. 
 
Van Drew said he is pleased with the way New Jersey conducted its elections, but suggested a discussion about election integrity is worth having on a national scale.  

"One thing they did right in New Jersey — they had a meeting of the state Assembly and Senate (to vote about on new election rules)," Van Drew told the paper. "Other states didn’t. "I think there is a worthy discussion at the very least to be had here."