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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 Trump. 

“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 Biden’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 Brooks (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 Hawley (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 Pelosi (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.” 

Tags Donald Trump Donald Trump Jeff Van Drew Jeff Van Drew Joe Biden Joe Biden Josh Hawley Mo Brooks Nancy Pelosi United States Electoral College

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