The Republican lieutenant governor of a state Donald Trump won by six points is pledging to hand over up to $1 million of his campaign money to people who can prove voter fraud in his state.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a right-wing ally of the president, said he backed Trump’s efforts to gin up ambiguous claims of voter fraud in order to overturn the results of an election he lost.
“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," Patrick said in a statement provided to the Texas Tribune. “The delays in counting mail-in ballots in other states raises more questions about voter fraud and potential mistakes.”
The delays in counting mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin were mandated by those states’ GOP legislatures, which refused to allow counties to begin counting mail ballots before election day. In North Carolina, another state with a GOP-led legislature which allowed counties to count absentee ballots as they were received, mail-in ballots received prior to the election were tabulated on election night.
There has been no evidence of widespread voter fraud, election fraud, or other irregularities produced by Trump or Republicans in any state. Top election officials in every state except for Texas have denied claims of widespread fraud or problems with their elections, the New York Times reported Wednesday.
No statewide official in Texas answered the Times’ questions. There have been a grand total of five cases of voter or election fraud cases in Texas since 2016, according to the conservative Heritage Foundation. The spokesperson for Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins, who oversees elections in the third-largest county in the country, said, “we had a very seamless election.”
Hollins said Wednesday that Patrick was looking to “bribe folks to make up allegations.”
Trump won Texas, which was considered to be winnable for Biden, by more than 600,000 votes. Democrats had hoped to flip the state House there prior to redistricting in 2021, but gained no ground, and lost several U.S. House seats that were considered toss-ups in the process.
Patrick promised at least $25,000 to anyone with information which leads to a conviction, and will pay the money out of his campaign coffers, a spokesperson told the Tribune.
Patrick’s pledge was openly mocked by Democrats. “Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick gave me an idea,” Rep. Ted Lieu of California tweeted. “I am offering $1 million to incentivize, encourage and reward people to find Bigfoot.”
Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman also mocked Patrick’s move.
“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,” Fetterman wrote on Twitter, referring to a story in October where a registered Republican in Luzerne County was arrested for requesting an absentee ballot on behalf of his mother who died five years ago.
It was the first voter fraud arrest in Luzerne County—population 317,000—in 30 years, ABC 16 reported.
“I’d like mine in Sheetz gift cards pls,” Fetterman added. “P.s. the Cowboys blow.”