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Conspiracy Theories Swirl After Democrat Phil Murphy Reelected New Jersey Governor—But There’s No Evidence Of Widespread Fraud

Following the narrow reelection victory of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D), conspiracy theories about voter fraud began to fly in many online right-wing circles, despite an election night many political commentators said was the best for the GOP in years after sweeping Virginia’s top offices, continuing a trend of baseless fraud claims made by Republicans following former President Donald Trump’s entirely legitimate loss in the 2020 presidential election.

The most popular conspiracy theory centers around a heavily edited, secretly recorded video from the far-right group Project Veritas—an organization notorious for publishing misleading videos.

The jump-cut-jittery clip of less than one minute claims to show a poll worker in Essex County illegally providing a ballot to a noncitizen who isn’t registered to vote, though the worker notes that the ballot may not count.

Still, some right-wing figures seized on the selectively edited video as evidence of fraud or election crimes taking place in the state, including, predictably, Donald Trump Jr., who tweeted Thursday morning: “Nothing to see here folks, just a blatant crime being committed!”

The Essex County Board of Elections did not respond to a request for comment from Forbes.

Other conspiracy theories focused on Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli losing his lead over incumbent Democrat Phil Murphy in parts of the state hours after the polls closed, which some said amounted to “magic votes” for Democrats.

In fact, much of the outstanding vote that was counted long after the polls closed was from mail-in ballots in heavily Democratic parts of the state, which worked to help Murphy.

Ciattarelli has not yet conceded the race, though he has not made any claims of fraud.

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