Texas Vice Governor Dan Patrick announced on Tuesday that he will offer up to $1 million from his campaign fund as a reward for informants and whistleblowers for evidence of election fraud.
In a Tuesday press release, Patrick’s office wrote that “as of today, he will pay up to $1 million to create incentives to encourage and reward people to come forward and report election fraud. Whistleblowers and tipsters should turn over their evidence to local law enforcement agencies”.
Under the release, anyone who provides information leading to an arrest and final conviction for voter fraud will receive at least $25,000.
“I support President Trump’s efforts to expose voter fraud in the presidential election and his commitment to ensure that every legal vote is counted and every illegal vote disqualified,” Patrick wrote in the release. “President Trump’s prosecution of election fraud is essential not only to determine the outcome of this election, but also to maintain our democracy and restore confidence in future elections,” Patrick wrote in the release.
During a conversation with Washington Newsday, a spokesman for the Federal Electoral Commission said that Patrick was not covered by the federal campaign finance law and noted that if he withdrew funds from his campaign account, it would be considered a sovereign wealth fund.
Washington Newsday was referred to the Texas Election Commission, which did not respond to a request for comment. Washington Newsday also turned to the Texas Ethics Council for comment.
Jerry Goldfeder, who has been an election lawyer at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan in New York for 40 years, told Washington Newsday that “this is not a proper use of campaign funds. Campaign funds must be used for an election campaign,” he added, adding that campaign funds must not be used to try to convince or pay people.
“I would say that sounds completely unreasonable,” Goldfeder told Washington Newsday.
Patrick’s announcement comes in the midst of election turmoil, as several news networks predict Joe Biden will be the winner of the 2020 presidential campaign, while President Donald Trump and some Republicans have made seemingly groundless claims of widespread election fraud.
“In Texas, we know that election fraud does indeed exist. In the last 60 days alone, there have been three major arrests for election fraud, including a social worker who was arrested last week for allegedly registering nearly 70 developmentally disabled adults without their signature or consent to vote,” Patrick wrote in the release. “In Texas we also know that it is possible to provide the results of postal votes on election day. We counted 970,000 postal ballots last Tuesday – a 55% increase over 2018 – and added these results to the personal ballots before midnight on Election Day.
On Monday, Attorney General Bill Barr announced that he will authorize attorneys throughout the United States to investigate election fraud “if there are clear and seemingly credible allegations of irregularities which, if true, could potentially affect the outcome of a federal election in a single state.
Washington Newsday asked Patrick to comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.