Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R-TX) was so certain that people were committing voter fraud that he promised up to $1 million in reward cash to anyone who could uncover 2020 election cheaters. That's when progressive Eric Frank got to work.
Last year, Patrick cited former President Donald Trump's calls to uncover voter fraud, saying that it "is not only essential to determine the outcome of this election, it is essential to maintain our democracy and restore faith in future elections."
Frank, a Pennsylvania poll worker whose parents are involved in Democratic politics, recently uncovered voter fraud: Ralph Thurman, a 72-year-old Republican who voted twice in the election, the Dallas Morning News reported.
At first, Thurman claimed that he was "tricked by poll workers," but it became clear that he voted once for himself and once under his son's name. He was sentenced to probation for three years and is banned from voting for four years. It's a significant contrast to Crystal Mason, who was on probation when she voted, not knowing that she wasn't allowed to vote as a former felon. She was sentenced to five years in prison. She's now working to appeal the conviction.
So, Patrick was forced to pay out, though instead of handing over the $1 million, he used the "up to $1 million" out to reduce the check to $25,000.
"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 in an interview. "This kind of blew up in their face."
Frank explained that thus far he's the first and only person to seek the reward, noting it was significantly less than $1 million, because the campaign was hoping to find "bigger fish."
"Was he looking for a celebrity or a political group as a whole?" Frank said in the interview. "I don't know what he meant by bigger fish."
Despite such significantly low cases in voter fraud, Republicans have worked to pass strict voting restrictions. Patrick specifically said that the laws were necessary because of Texas' emotions. He claimed voters in the state "feel" elections are less secure, and thus a law is necessary.
Now, Patrick wants Gov. Greg Abbott to call legislators back for a fourth special session to pass increased penalties for "illegal voting" and conduct a "forensic audit" like the one done in Arizona that found Trump lost by more votes than initially thought.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick forced to pay progressive after he uncovers Republican voter fraud youtu.be