Texas' No. 2 Republican Keeps Promise to Pay Voter Fraud Tipsters — and Now a Democrat Is $25,000 Richer
In the wake of Joe Biden's presidential win and defeated Donald Trump's baseless claims of voter fraud that followed, Texas' Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick offered to pay up to $1 million in bounties to tipsters who provided information that led to an arrest and final conviction of 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," Patrick said in November 2020, announcing his plan to pay a minimum of $25,000 per informant.
Patrick has kept his word — but it's a progressive poll worker in Pennsylvania who is $25,000 richer after he spotted a Trump supporter illegally trying to vote twice.
"It's my belief that they were trying to get cases of Democrats doing voter fraud. And that just wasn't the case," Eric Frank told The Dallas Morning News of collecting his reward from Patrick. "This kind of blew up in their face."
Frank — whose father is an election judge and whose mother is a campaign manager for Pennsylvania Democrats, according to the Dallas paper — was instrumental in the case of Chester County, Pennsylvania, voter Ralph Thurman, a registered Republican who pleaded guilty to repeat voting and was sentenced to three years' probation, The Philadelphia Inquirer and other local news outlets reported in September.
"I was the one handing out the ballots to the voters," Frank told Rachel Maddow on her MSNBC show Thursday.
While checking in to cast his ballot, Frank said, Thurman asked about also voting for his son. "About an hour later, I'm in my same position and I hear the last name Thurman and I look up and low and behold it's the same guy wearing a hat and sunglasses" attempting to cast a second ballot, Frank said.
According to the Inquirer, Thurman signed the name of his son, a registered Democrat, during the second attempt to vote at the polling place where Frank was working.
Frank said he reported Thurman to authorities and testified as a witness in the case.
"I never thought in a million years that I would get paid," Frank told Maddow of collecting a check from Texas' lieutenant governor, who is known as an ardent and outspoken supporter of Trump and for making outrageous statements.
Frank says he'll use the unexpected windfall to find a new house for him and his fiancée. "We're looking to move out to the suburbs," he told Maddow. "I'm very grateful and I'm also grateful that they kept their word, to be honest."
Patrick's office did not respond to a request for comment from the lieutenant governor.