The lieutenant governor of Texas cut the check on his first bounty for voter fraud evidence to a poll worker in Pennsylvania, but it wasn't the proof he was expecting.
Almost a year after Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announced that he would pay for evidence of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election, someone has received their payout. Patrick sent a $25,000 check to Eric Frank, a Democratic poll worker from Chester County, Pennsylvania, who reported a 72-year-old Republican for voting twice.
"It's my belief that they were trying to get cases of Democrats doing voter fraud. And that just wasn't the case," Frank told the Dallas Morning News. "This kind of blew up in their face."
Patrick announced in December 2020 that he had set aside $1 million of his campaign funds for tipsters who could turn over credible evidence of voter fraud that would lead to an arrest and conviction. Anyone who did so would receive $25,000. While several incidents were forwarded to Patrick's office, none of them led to a conviction and sentence.
Frank decided to use Patrick's offer to make a profit — he had previously reported local voter Frank Thurman for casting a ballot twice, once for himself and once for his son.
Frank forwarded evidence of Thurman's conviction to Patrick's spokesman, Allen Blakemore. The poll worker received a payout of $25,000 and was told he didn't receive more because Blakemore was saving the higher payments for "bigger fish."
Thurman's lawyer contended that the event "stems from a miscommunication at the voting center" in which Thurman misheard poll workers and thought he could vote a second time on behalf of his son. Thurman pleaded guilty to repeat voting in September and was sentenced to three years probation.
Government officials report that they have found sparse incidents of voter fraud in the 2020 election. However, the individual incidents are not enough to justify widespread claims of voter fraud that could have changed a presidential election outcome.
Blakemore did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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Original Author: Christopher Hutton