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Election Denial in New Jersey

  • 0 Election Deniers currently hold statewide office with election oversight power.

  • 0 Election Deniers have held, or run for, statewide office since 2020.

  • 1 Election Denier are sitting members of Congress.

  • 0 Election Deniers are running for Congress.

The landscape in New Jersey

The state of New Jersey launched an online portal in 2020 to fight misinformation and disinformation about Covid-19. Since then, it has expanded to educate citizens about how to spot conspiracy theories, who spreads them, and why. One report examines how domestic extremists use disinformation about elections to promote political violence.  

Elsewhere, on the national stage, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been among the most full-throated of the presidential candidates in opposing Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election. Christie said in 2021 that those election lies were a “red line” in his relationship with Trump, and he has blamed Trump’s lies for inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

None of New Jersey’s state officials are Election Deniers, but the state has not been immune from the Election Denier movement. In a poll taken a month after the 2020 election, three-quarters of the state’s Republicans believed there had been widespread voter fraud. And New Jersey’s Rep. Jeff Van Drew was among the 147 members of Congress who voted to overturn 2020 election results.

0 Election Deniers hold statewide Office right now.

Elections are run by the states. The Governor, Attorney General, and Secretary of State are the state officials responsible for overseeing elections. In New Jersey, unlike many other states, the Secretary of State is appointed by the Governor. It’s up to them to make sure the will of the people is always respected.

Read more about The Roles of Our Elected Officials in Elections

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Election Deniers

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1 Election Denier is sitting members of congress right now.

Election Deniers make up 7 percent of New Jersey’s 14-member Congressional delegation. Members of Congress have a public platform to build up or tear down trust in our elections. And they have concrete responsibilities, too, such as determining federal funding for elections.

Read more about The Roles of Our Elected Officials in Elections

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Election Deniers
Headshot of Jeff Van Drew
Jeff Van Drew

Representative of New Jersey, District 2

Term started 2023

Term ends 2025

Election Denier
Election Denial Record What makes an Election Denier
  • Refused to certify, or called on or pressured election officials to refuse to certify, the 2020 presidential election results or a race in subsequent elections based on meritless claims about election fraud, voter fraud, misinformation, or lies.

  • Taken action to undermine the integrity of the 2020 presidential election or subsequent election cycles, including:

    • Filing or supporting litigation seeking to overturn the results based on conspiracies or baseless legal theories.

    • Filing or supporting litigation that was sanctioned for being malicious or without merit in the aftermath of an election.

    • Promoting or participating in a Stop the Steal–sponsored or branded event or rally during or following the 2020 election.

    • Calling for a “forensic audit” of the 2020 presidential election or a race in subsequent elections after the results were certified, were officially audited, or stood up to multiple legal challenges.

  • Falsely claimed former President Trump won the 2020 presidential election instead of the legitimate winner, President Biden.

  • Spread lies or promoted conspiracies about the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election or subsequent election cycles in public, including in social media, press statements, or comments to the press.

  • Refused to concede a race, or publicly supported a candidate’s refusal to concede a race, after the results were officially audited or stood up to multiple legal challenges.

0 Election Deniers are running for congress in races we're tracking.

Here are the Election Deniers running in 2024 to represent New Jersey in the House or Senate. Remember: For members of Congress elected this year, one of their first responsibilities will be voting on whether to certify the 2024 Presidential election.

Read more about The Roles of Our Elected Officials in Elections

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Election Deniers

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How New Jersey compares

Every state runs its own elections, with its own laws and processes. Check out how New Jersey compares with other states in its region when it comes to Election Deniers holding state election administration jobs.

Election Denial in Mideast States

State Commissioner of Elections

Moreinformation about Delaware

State Elections Board

Moreinformation about District of Columbia

State Elections Board

Moreinformation about Maryland
Moreinformation about New Jersey

State Elections Board

Moreinformation about New York
Moreinformation about Pennsylvania

Sitting official is an Election Denier

  1. In Delaware, the Governor appoints the State Commissioner of Elections.
  2. In Washington, D.C., the Executive Director is appointed by the District of Columbia Board of Elections.
  3. In Maryland, the Administrator of Elections is appointed by the Maryland State Board of Elections.
  4. In New Jersey, the Governor appoints the Secretary of State.
  5. In New York, the Co-Executive Directors are appointed by the New York State Board of Elections.
  6. In Pennsylvania, the Governor appoints the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

0 Election Deniers have held, or have run for, statewide Office since 2020.

Even one Election Denier with election oversight power is a threat to the will of the people. Here are the Election Deniers who have sought control over New Jersey elections in recent years.

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No candidates match the selected filters.

Voter turnout over time

Voters are always the backstop against election denial, whether Election Deniers are already in office or vying for power. It’s important to turn out for every election in your state—and to vote in every race on your ballot. Downballot races, like contests for Attorney General and Secretary of State, have historically drawn fewer voters, even though the positions are critical to keeping elections free, fair, and secure. Here’s a look at voter participation in New Jersey elections over time. Notice that in years with several important positions up for election, some voters choose not to vote in every race.

Voter Participation in New Jersey Since 2016

Attorney General
Secretary of State
  1. 2016 Presidential

    • President had a 64% voter turnout rate

  2. 2017 Off-year

    • Governor had a 35% voter turnout rate

  3. 2018 Midterm

    • Senator had a 52% voter turnout rate

  4. 2020 Presidential

    • President had a 74% voter turnout rate

    • Senator had a 72% voter turnout rate

  5. 2021 Off-year

    • Governor had a 41% voter turnout rate

Voter turnout

Data on the number of votes cast in each race are from state elections depositories, supplemented with data from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), House Election Statistics, and The Book of States. Rates are calculated using the Census’s Citizen Voting Age Population (CVAP) estimates.

Beyond the ballot box

Each year, state legislators introduce thousands of bills related to elections. And in the past few years, we’ve identified a concerning trend. Across the country, state legislatures are considering bills that would make it easier for partisan actors to manipulate an election, and maybe even overturn the will of the people. We’re tracking these bills along with our partners in an ongoing series of reports called “A Democracy Crisis in the Making.” All told, in the 2023 legislative cycle, we identified 196 bills that were introduced in 39 states that would interfere with election administration. Ultimately, 21 of those bills became law across 15 states, while 7 bills were vetoed across 2 states.

The anti-democracy playbook is simple: change the rules and change the referees, in order to change the results. These bills go hand-in-hand with the Election Denier movement: They’re about taking power away from voters and making it harder for trusted election officials to do their jobs.

Read the full report

Legislative Interference in New Jersey by Category

As of November 15, 2023, 5 bills had been introduced or were under consideration in New Jersey. None have been enacted or adopted and none have been vetoed after passing.

These bills show that the threat to elections in New Jersey, and all across the country, goes well beyond the ballot box.

  • Imposing disproportionate criminal or other penalties.
    These bills would create or expand penalties for election officials in the ordinary execution of their jobs, including criminalizing inadvertent mistakes.
  • Creating unworkable burdens in election administration.
    These bills would interfere with the basic procedures of election administration, increasing the risk of chaos and delay and enabling misleading claims of irregularity.
  • Usurping control over election results.
    These bills would give legislators or other state officials direct control over election outcomes.
  • Requiring partisan or unprofessional election “audits” or reviews.
    These bills would establish vague post-election review schemes without the professional standards of traditional audits.
  • Seizing power over election responsibilities.
    These bills would shift election administration responsibilities away from professional, nonpartisan officials and toward partisan actors in the legislature.