Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Tuesday he is offering up to a $1 million reward to anyone who provides information leading to an arrest and conviction for voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
The purpose of the offer is to "incentivize, encourage, and reward" people who come forward with reports of voter fraud. Anyone who provides evidence that leads to a conviction will receive at least $25,000, paid for by Patrick's campaign fund, the Texas Tribune reported.
"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 news release statement. "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 in future elections."
President Donald Trump has refused to concede the 2020 presidential election to former vice president Joe Biden as Trump's campaign has filed several legal challenges to the results of the election in various states.
While several Republicans have supported the president's efforts to challenge the election, Patrick is the first and so far the only Republican to offer a monetary reward for evidence of voter fraud. In his statement, he accused Democrats of "creating suspicion" regarding the legitimacy of the election.
"The Democrats have no one to blame but themselves for creating suspicion of final vote totals," Patrick said. "Not allowing Republican poll watchers to observe the vote count in multiple states, in some cases blocking their view with poster board, last minute changes in election laws in battleground states, ignoring the deadline to vote and accepting ballots for days after the election, ignoring postmarks and signature checks, not verifying that mail-in ballots were being sent to people who were alive or living in the state and voting machines that have been a concern for over a decade all raise serious questions.
"This lack of transparency has led many to believe that the final count is not accurate in states where the winner was determined be a very small percentage of the vote," he continued.
Patrick's statement cited three examples of recent arrests for elections crimes, including a social worker in Mexia, Texas, who allegedly registered 67 residents of a nursing home to vote without their consent. Elections officials in dozens of states nationwide say there is no widespread evidence of voter fraud on the scale that could change the results of the election.
The lieutenant governor also criticized other states for delays in counting mail-in ballots, saying "the delays in counting mail-in ballots in other states raises more questions about voter fraud and potential mistakes."
"When all legal votes are tallied and all illegal votes are discarded, then America can have a greater level of confidence in the election process," Patrick said. "President Trump is absolutely right to pursue every allegation of voter fraud and irregularities, just as Al Gore did in 2000. Every candidate for public office has this right. My goal is to ensure that, regardless of the outcome, every American has faith in our electoral process and our democracy."