“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 press release. “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 future elections.”
The money put up by Texas’ second-in-command appeared to be a first among Republican officeholders who are backing Trump as he refuses to concede.
Still, there is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. Election officials from both political parties have stated publicly that the election went relatively well and international observers confirmed there were no serious irregularities.
Jim Clancy, former chairman of the Texas Ethics Commission, challenged the ethics of paying out a cash reward, saying it would be improper if it’s being used to help prove Trump’s questionable 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.
But Sherry Sylvester, a spokeswoman for Patrick, pushed back on Clancy’s suggestion, saying the offer was about voter fraud “regardless of the outcome of the election” and restoring public confidence in the electoral process.
Most Republicans are declining to push Trump to accept the outcome, even though there is no evidence of voter fraud.
Patrick’s office could not be reached for comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.