Texas lt. gov. pays out first voter fraud bounty to progressive Pa. poll worker

Last year, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) set a bounty of between $25,000 and $1 million for substantiated claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election. This week, he made his first payment: the minimum amount to a progressive Pennsylvania poll worker who caught a Republican voting twice.

Poll worker Eric Frank told The Dallas Morning News he was informed he was only getting $25,000 from Patrick's campaign because the larger awards were being reserved for "bigger fish."

"Was he looking for a celebrity or a political group as a whole?" Frank asked. "I don't know what he meant by bigger fish."

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Patrick first made his offer last November, amid then-President TrumpDonald TrumpPence: Supreme Court has chance to right 'historic wrong' with abortion ruling Prosecutor says during trial that actor Jussie Smollett staged 'fake hate crime' Overnight Defense & National Security — US, Iran return to negotiating table MORE's unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud.

“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,” he said in a statement at the time. “President Trump’s pursuit of voter fraud is not only essential to determine the outcome of this election, it is essential to maintain our democracy and restore faith in future elections.”

Trump's claims have since been debunked, and no state has changed its 2020 results.

“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 Morning News. “This kind of blew up in their face.”

A spokesperson for Patrick's campaign defended the $25,000 amount, telling the paper that only "original tipsters" would be given the full reward.

Frank reportedly was the original person to turn in Ralph Thurman, 72, who pleaded guilty in September to voting once as himself and a second time using his son's name.

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Thurman has been banned from voting for four years and was sentenced to three years of probation, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Frank said that he plans to use the money for the future purchase of a home and to donate to charity.

"Thank you for putting out the bounty,” he said.