Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce (R-26) is seeking to change New Jersey election rules via two proposed laws.
One would alter New Jersey’s current apportioning of Electoral College votes, while the other would shift the way voters elect representatives to the New Jersey General Assembly.
DeCroce’s reported proposals includes looking to change the Assembly election process to require voters to elect one Assembly candidate from each half of the legislative district instead of two legislators elected at-large from the entire district.
Increasing Districts for Better Representation
Under the amendment, the number of Assembly districts would jump to 80 instead of 40 without increasing the size of the Assembly; State Senators would still be elected by the entire district.
“The amendment I am proposing will allow voters to select representatives who are more familiar with the people’s concerns and who are more accountable and accessible to the voters,” said the veteran legislator.
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The changes proposed comes after DeCroce lost her chance to defend her Assembly seat in this November election. Christian Barranco, a former Pompton Lakes Councilman and member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 102, defeated DeCroce by seven votes in the first-ever Morris County Republican Convention. Barranco would run on the county line in Morris County with Assemblyman Jay Webber in defeating DeCroce.
DeCroce is suggesting the change now in hopes the state legislative redistricting commission would take her proposal into consideration when mapping new districts, saying the current system was “out of balance” and that “changes are needed to improve citizen representation in Trenton.”
Making Changes to the Electoral College
In regards to changes related to Federal elections, New Jersey is a winner-take-all state for the Electoral College, a system which DeCroce says disenfranchises millions of voters. She pointed to President Donald Trump’s support in the election, saying he garnered 1.6 million votes and 1.9 million votes in the 2016 and 2020 elections, respectively.
Under her system, Trump would have received five Electoral College votes in 2016 and three in 2020. She argued the changes should be non-partisan, and that they would encourage voter turnout.
“In the past two presidential elections in New Jersey the votes of 2.5 million people were simply unrecognized. That needs to be corrected if we want to increase voter participation and conduct fairer elections,” added DeCroce.
The Morris County lawmaker pointed to Maine and Nebraska as examples of successful efforts in apportioning electoral college votes.
“Republicans know there is little to be gained by campaigning in New Jersey and Democrats take the state for granted and spend little time here except to raise money. If there were electoral votes at stake here, then we would see New Jersey getting the national attention it deserves,” added DeCroce.