Rep. Cawthorn promotes election fraud claims, warns of ‘bloodshed’ if fraud occurs in the future

On Sunday, the North Carolina representative, who is the youngest member of Congress, backed claims of election fraud at the Macon County Republican Party headquarters in Franklin, N.C.

“The things that we are wanting to fight for, it doesn’t matter if our votes don’t count,” said Cawthorn. “Because, you know, if our election systems continue to be rigged, and continue to be stolen, then it’s going to lead to one place, and it’s bloodshed.” Forbes reports that Cawthorn not only spoke to Trump’s 2020 loss being the result of election fraud, but he also attributed GOP candidate Dan Forest’s loss of the North Carolina governorship to fraud.

While a video of his comments had been posted to Facebook by the Macon County Republican Party, it has since been removed, but a short clip still remains on Twitter. Cawthorn went on to say that he would defend against future voter fraud with his Second Amendment rights if necessary.

“The Second Amendment was not written so that we could go hunting…the Second Amendment was written so that we could fight against tyranny.” He added, “I will tell you, as much as I am willing to defend our freedom at any cost, there is nothing I would dread doing more than having to pick up arms against a fellow American.” He then went on to say that all Americans should “passionately demand that we have election security in all 50 states.”

Luke Ball, Cawthorn’s spokesman, said in a statement on Tuesday that his remarks were meant to advocate against violence. “In his comments, Congressman Cawthorn is clearly advocating for violence not to occur over election integrity questions,” Ball’s statement read. “He fears others would erroneously choose that route and strongly states that election integrity issues should be resolved peacefully and never through violence,” (NBC).

This year alone, between January 1 and July 14, at least 18 states passed 30 laws with provisions aimed at tightening election processes, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. These new laws limit both mail-in and early voting and change voter ID requirements among other things. Additionally, in the 2021 legislative sessions, over 400 bills with provisions that “restrict voting access” have been introduced in 49 states.

However, at the same time, around 25 states have passed 54 laws with provisions seeking to expand voting access by expanding early and mail-in voting, making voter registration more accessible, and restoring voting rights to Americans with past convictions.  


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