KMC Partner Matthew Moench recently brought an election contest concerning an election for municipal office that was reported on by NBC4 New York. The trial was covered during the evening newscast, with a news article and the video news story posted here.

Election contests are legal proceedings that are brought in Superior Court to review the outcome of an election. They are filed under N.J.S.A. 19:29-1 and allow candidates or certain interested parties to seek the reversal or invalidation of election results on particular legal grounds:

a. Malconduct, fraud or corruption on the part of the members of any district board, or of any members of the board of county canvassers, sufficient to challenge the result;

b. When the incumbent was not eligible to the office at the time of the election;

c. When the incumbent had been duly convicted before such election of any crime which would render him incompetent to exercise the right of suffrage, and the incumbent had not been pardoned at the time of the election;

d. When the incumbent had given or offered to any elector or any member of any district board, clerk or canvasser, any bribe or reward, in money, property or thing of value for the purpose of procuring his election;

e. When illegal votes have been received, or legal votes rejected at the polls sufficient to change the result;

f. For any error by any board of canvassers in counting the votes or declaring the result of the election, if such error would change the result;

g. For any other cause which shows that another was the person legally elected;

h. The paying, promise to pay or expenditure of any money or other thing of value or incurring of any liability in excess of the amount permitted by this title for any purpose or in any manner not authorized by this title;

i. When a petition for nomination is not filed in good faith or the affidavit annexed thereto is false or defective.

If a judge finds that the issues raised in an election contest would have changed the outcome of an election, the court is authorized to revoke a certificate of election or to authorize the issuance of a certificate of election to a rightful winner.

KMC provides counsel to candidates in all aspects of election law. Please contact Matthew C. Moench at 973-998-6860 or mmoench [at] to assist with your legal issues such as election contests and related disputes.

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