The Dean of the New Jersey congressional delegation voted tonight to certify Joe Biden’s election as President of the United States.
Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton), one of two Republicans representing New Jersey in Congress, said that while he shared concerns of election wrongdoings in several states, he chose to follow former U.S. Attorney General William Barr’s view that there was no evidence of the kind of voter fraud that would have changed the results of the election.
“Congress is tasked with counting the electoral votes sent by each state,” Smith said. “Nullifying the electors of any state requires proof that electors were not ‘lawfully certified’ according to state laws.”
He was among the 83 House Republicans who voted reject an objection to throw out Arizona’s electoral college ballots for Biden.
Only Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis), who switched parties in 2019 after refusing to impeach President Donald Trump, voted against certifying the Election College results of the 2020 presidential election.
All ten New Jersey House Democrats voted to certify.
Smith, who began his record-setting 21st term as a congressman on Sunday, called states to conduct bi-partisan investigations into allegations of voter fraud.
“All elections in the United States must be free and fair—any action to subvert, cheat, suppress or steal any election should be investigated and prosecuted,” Smith said. “Even if the nefarious activity was minor—and not likely to alter the outcome of an election—individuals who engage in such acts should be held accountable in a court of law.
He wants a top-to-bottom review to “undertake a top-to-bottom review of election law and administrative polices to ensure that elections are free and fair. “
“No-one has a license to cheat,” Smith stated.
This was the second time in Smith’s career that he voted to certify a contested presidential election.
In 2005, some Democrats objected to the certification of President George W. Bush’s victory in Ohio, whose 20 electoral votes would have shifted the presidency to Democrat John Kerry.
Smith said he voted against the challenge “because the allegations lacked merit and proof.”
The move failed by a 267-31 vote, with 88 Democrats opposing the objection.
Reps. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-Long Branch) and Donald Payne (D-Newark) were among the 31 Democrats who voted against certifying the election.
Three New Jersey Democrats – Rob Andrews (D-Haddon Heights), Rush Holt (D-Hopewell) and Steve Rothman (D-Fair Lawn) – voted with the Republican majority. Reps. Bob Menendez (D-Union City) and Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) did not vote.