Texas Republican, Democratic Leaders Differ Over Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s Cash Incentive To Find Voter Fraud

HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick announced Tuesday, Nov. 10, he will pay up to $1 million from his campaign account to incentivize, encourage and reward people to come forward and report voter fraud form anywhere in the country.

“Whistleblowers and tipsters should turn over their evidence to local law enforcement. Anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest and final conviction of voter fraud will be paid a minimum of $25,000,” said Lt. Gov. Patrick in a news release.

Joe Biden became President-elect on Saturday, Nov. 7, when he surpassed 270 electoral votes by winning Pennsylvania.

“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. 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.”

Several complaints and affidavits have been filed in courts around the country alleging unfair elections and possible voter fraud. So far, no court has confirmed the allegations or made any decision reversing any election results.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick speaks after Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced the reopening of more Texas businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic at a press conference at the Texas State Capitol in Austin on Monday, May 18, 2020. (Photo by Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool/Getty Images)

In response, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman took to Twitter and said, “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.”

Lt. Gov. Patrick went on to say in his statement on voting fraud concerns:

“The Democrats have no one to blame but themselves for creating suspicion of final vote totals. Not allowing Republican poll watchers to observe the vote count in multiple states, in some cases blocking their view with poster board, last minute changes in election laws in battleground states, ignoring the deadline to vote and accepting ballots for days after the election, ignoring postmarks and signature checks, not verifying that mail-in ballots were being sent to people who were alive or living in the state and voting machines that have been a concern for over a decade all raise serious questions.

“This lack of transparency has led many to believe that the final count is not accurate in states where the winner was determined be a very small percentage of the vote.

“In Texas we know voter fraud is real. In just the last 60 days, we have had three major arrests on voter fraud including a social worker who was arrested last week for allegedly registering almost 70 developmentally disabled adults to vote without their signature or consent.

“In Texas, we also know that it is possible to provide the results of mail-in ballots on Election Day. We counted 970,000 mail-in ballots last Tuesday – a 55% increase over 2018 – and added those results to the in-person voting total before midnight on Election Day. The delays in counting mail-in ballots in other states raises more questions about voter fraud and potential mistakes.

“When all legal votes are tallied and all illegal votes are discarded, then America can have a greater level of confidence in the election process.

“President Trump is absolutely right to pursue every allegation of voter fraud and irregularities, just as Al Gore did in 2000. Every candidate for public office has this right. My goal is to ensure that, regardless of the outcome, every American has faith in our electoral process and our democracy.”

President Trump said on Twitter Tuesday night, “Thanks Dan. Big win for us in Texas!”

Jim Clancy, former chairman of the Texas Ethics Commission, said handing out large sums of reward money may be improper if it’s being used to help prove Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud.

“You could argue that this is an in-kind contribution to the Donald Trump campaign. That’s his problem,” Clancy said.

Patrick spokeswoman Sherry Sylvester said the offer was about voter fraud “regardless of the outcome of the election” — which Trump has lost — and restoring public confidence the electoral process.

Most Republicans are refusing to congratulate Biden or declining to push Trump to accept the outcome.

On Tuesday, President-elect Biden said President Trump’s refusal to concede is “an embarrassment”

Biden went on to say, “How can I say this tactfully — I think it will not help the president’s legacy.”

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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