Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick paid out of his first voter fraud bounty in the wake of the 2020 election -- to a Pennsylvania poll worker who turned in a man casting a ballot twice for former President Donald Trump, Insider reports.
Patrick after the presidential election set up a $1 million bounty pool to "incentivize, encourage and reward" people for reports of voter fraud. Patrick said he would give at least $25,000 to anyone who provides information leading to a conviction from his campaign fund.
“I support President Trump’s efforts to identify voter fraud in the presidential election and his commitment to making sure that every legal vote is counted and every illegal vote is disqualified," Patrick said at the time. “The delays in counting mail-in ballots in other states raises more questions about voter fraud and potential mistakes.”
Eleven months later, Patrick doled out the first $25,000 reward to a progressive poll worker who turned in a man for voting twice.
Poll worker Eric Frank told reporters that he was told he only received $25,000 because larger rewards were for “bigger fish.”
"Was he looking for a celebrity or a political group as a whole?" he said. "I don't know what he meant by bigger fish."
Frank reported 72-year-old Republican Ralph Thurman for voting twice last year. Thurman pleaded guilty in September to illegally voting using his son’s name.
He was sentenced to three years of probation and was banned from voting for four years.
“Blew up in their face”:
“It’s my belief that they were trying to get cases of Democrats doing voter fraud. And that just wasn’t the case,” Frank said. “This kind of blew up in their face.”
Frank said he was surprised that he actually got paid.
“People go on social media and say stuff all the time,” he said.
Frank, whose father is an election judge, said the incident underscores misleading Republican claims about incredibly rare voter fraud.
“[Republicans] need to look within their party and not focus so closely on fraud on the Democratic side,” he said.