Republican's Conviction Earns Voter Fraud Bounty

Fund set up to back Trump claims pays in Pennsylvania case
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2021 5:35 PM CDT
GOP Voter's Fraud Brings Dan Patrick's First Reward
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick waves to the crowd before an Alabama-Texas A&M earlier this month in College Station.   (AP Photo/Sam Craft)

(Newser) – This might not be quite how Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick imagined his voter fraud tip line would work. With former President Donald Trump rejecting the results of the 2020 presidential elections, Patrick announced last November that he'd set up a $1 million fund to reward tipsters who reported cases of voter fraud. "The Democrats have no one to blame but themselves for creating suspicion of final vote totals," the Republican said. But he just cut the first check, the Dallas Morning News reports, and it went to a poll worker in Pennsylvania whose tip led to the voter fraud conviction of a registered Republican.

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"It's my belief that they were trying to get cases of Democrats doing voter fraud. And that just wasn't the case," said Eric Frank, the winning tipster. "This kind of blew up in their face." Frank turned in Ralph Thurman, 72, after seeing him vote once for himself and once for his son, a registered Democrat. Frank, who's from a Democratic family, said he'd have reported fraud committed by a voter of either party. Thurman pleaded guilty last month and is barred from voting for four years. He also was sentenced to three years' probation. This week, Frank received his $25,000 check.

Frank was told he's the only person to apply for the reward, per the Morning News, and he isn't clear on why the check wasn't bigger. Patrick said in the beginning that $25,000 was the minimum. The money comes out of his campaign fund, which has $23 million in it. Patrick's spokesman told him larger amounts are for "bigger fish," but Frank said he doesn't know what that means. "Was he looking for a celebrity or a political group as a whole?" Frank wondered. Patrick and his staff had no comment. Frank said he appreciates the fact that Patrick kept his end of the deal. (Read more voter fraud stories.)

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