Earlier this week, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announced that he is offering up to $1 million to “incentivize, encourage and reward” people for reports of voter fraud in Texas.
Patrick said that anyone who provides information that leads to a conviction will receive a minimum of $25,000.
“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. The delays in counting mail-in ballots in other states raises more questions about voter fraud and potential mistakes,” Patrick said, according to ABC
The money will come from Patrick’s campaign fund, according to spokesperson Sherry Sylvester.
Patrick endorsed Trump and eventually became the Texas state chairman for his campaign. Trump won Texas by 9 percentage points, the closest result since 1996. In January 2018, Patrick stated that he considered Presidents Trump and Ronald Reagan as the two greatest presidents in his lifetime, and the Austin American-Statesman described Patrick as an “ardent defender” of Trump.
Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman responded to Patrick’s offer, by referring him to a case of voter fraud in Pennsylvania.
Hey, Governor Patrick- it’s your counterpart in Pennsylvania.
I’d like to collect your handsome reward for reporting voter fraud.
I got a dude in Forty Fort, PA who tried to have his dead mom vote for Trump.
I’d like mine in Sheetz gift cards pls.
ps. The Cowboys blow. https://t.co/Y21Q3ZkSEH
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) November 10, 2020
In the state of Pennsylvania, a postal worker who claimed that ballots were tampered with later admitted that he fabricated the allegations, according to the Seattle Times. Critics of Patrick’s cash offer say that it could encourage more false claims.
A postal worker name Richard Hopkins said a postmaster in Erie, Pa., instructed postal workers to backdate ballots mailed after Election Day. This claim was widely cited by many Republican politicians that supported Trump’s challenge of the election results.
Tim Murtaugh, a Trump campaign spokesman, said Hopkins’s allegations are just a small part of the campaign’s assertions in the Pennsylvania lawsuit, adding, “We don’t know what kind of pressure he has been under since he publicly made those statements.”
The Erie postmaster, Rob Weisenbach, called the allegations “100% false” in a Facebook post and said they were made “by an employee that was recently disciplined multiple times.”
“The Erie Post Office did not back date any ballots,” Weisenbach wrote.
On Monday, US Attorney General William Barr authorized the Department of Justice to investigate the Trump campaign’s claim that there were voting “irregularities” at multiple polling places across the country. The campaign has threatened to file lawsuits in Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia to contest the results.
One of the primary claims made by the campaign is that Republican observers weren’t given access to the polls to confirm that everything was being counted correctly. The campaign also suggested that fake mail-in ballots were used by the Democrats.
Democrats have insisted that there is currently no evidence to warrant an investigation, while conservatives insist that an investigation is needed to uncover the evidence.