Texas “Republican” Consultant and ‘Ballot Chaser’ ILLEGALLY Pressures Voter to Change Vote to Democrat Candidate with GIFT!
- Ballot Chaser Raquel Rodriguez: “I could go to jail. I’m a little apprehensive to tell anybody what I’m f#cking doing, you know what I’m saying?”
- ‘Ballot Chaser’ Raquel Rodriguez: “I’m against Trump. OK. I’m with Biden and I’m with Hegar. That’s the truth.”
- Rodriguez: I own state Sen. Pete Flores “Pete in the pocket.”
- Rodriguez on state rep candidate Liz Campos: “You know what I told her? ‘I respect you. You’re going to owe me—OK?’”
- Texas AG Ken Paxton: “Project Veritas’s documentary audio and video recordings” casts “a shadow of doubt” on the integrity of the elections.
- James O’Keefe: “If Rodriguez is truly responsible for 7,000 votes delivered in Bexar County so far, it is a stunning example of how fragile our republic has become.”
- Rodriguez: “You [voter] said you’re voting straight Democrat per our conversation… ’cause that’s what you want to do, correct?”
- Rodriguez: I drop off bundles of ballots at different post offices to avoid suspicion. “I go throughout the entire city. I’ll take 20 [ballots] here, 30 [ballots] here, 40 [ballots] here.”
- James O’Keefe: “Our journalists discovered a voter fraud system positioned to swing Texas in 2020.”
[BEXAR COUNTY, TEXAS—Oct. 27, 2020] Project Veritas undercover journalists infiltrated a ballot harvesting racket deep in the heart of Texas in a devastating report released today.
“We keep hearing voter fraud is a myth and anyone who challenges that notion is simply creating hysteria,” said James O’Keefe, the founder and CEO of Project Veritas.
“I went to Texas to be part of the Project Veritas investigation into election fraud and to be on the ground here with our undercover journalists,” O’Keefe said.
“Our journalists discovered a voter fraud system positioned to swing Texas in 2020,”
“These so-called ‘ballot chasers’ use a mix of gifts and coercion to work down their list of targeted voters and make sure they vote for their paymasters,” he said. “The actions violate both federal and state law and constitute a direct threat to the integrity of our election-based republic.”
One of the capos in this ballot racketeering operation is Raquel Rodriguez, nominally a political consultant for GOP House candidate Mauro E. Garza, the owner of the San Antonio’s Pegasus Nightclub, which is located on the Main Avenue Strip, he said.
Raquel Rodriguez: “I can honestly say I’m bringing at least 7,000 votes to the
Journalist: “Seven thousand—and that’s for San Antonio for this area too. It’s a lot.”
Rodriguez: “That’s a lot. It’s a lot, period. Just so you know–have an idea–so this is what I do.”
Rodriguez pressures voter to change her vote from Cornyn to Hegar
Rodriguez said she develops personal relationships with senior citizens when she harvests their ballots and then uses different post offices, so that the bundles do not draw suspicion.
“So, if ya’ll are my seniors, I’m literally picking you up. I’m going to your house, you’re doing your ballot,” she said. “I go throughout the entire city. If I have a bunch of them, what I do if I have a bunch of them, I’ll take 20 [ballots] here, 30 [ballots] here, 40 [ballots] here.”
At one point during the investigation, one Project Veritas journalist paid $500 to accompany Rodriguez on her rounds to collect ballots.
In an exchange recorded with a hidden camera by a Project Veritas journalist, Rodriguez literally examined a woman’s ballot and convinced her to change her vote from Cornyn to Hegar.
Raquel Rodriguez: “You can do, you can vote for whoever you want, but our conversation that we had, you said you were voting for Hegar, ‘cause you were going straight Democrat. You said you’re voting straight Democrat per our conversation, so that when you’re voting for the straight Dem – ‘cause that’s what you want to do, correct?”
In the video, Rodriguez shows the woman how to correct the ballot so it looks like an accident, by crossing out the line for Cornyn and putting her initials next to the line. “You’re going to, you’re going to dot that in—and the line goes like this, and then your initials are going to be right there, so, that way they know it was done accidentally.”
Journalist: “So, John Cornyn, she voted for John Cornyn and then you made her—”
Raquel Rodriguez: “That’s my job.”
After the voter “corrected” her ballot, Rodriguez presented her with a shawl as a gift.
Rodriguez said Garza gave her a gift budget of $2,500 for his campaign, and in addition to the shawls, she gives voters rosaries, diabetic socks and wallets.
Sometimes, the ballot chaser said she hosts parties at a bar for her voters, some of them former inmates recruited by her colleague, Tommy Acosta.
“Tommy does what’s called, like barbecues, so like an example, this coming Thursday at a bar, we’re going to feed 45 ex-felons that we registered because they’re going to all vote,” she said.
The parties are thrown after everyone votes, she said.
Raquel Rodriguez: “So, guess what we’re going to do? We’re taking them to a bar to go eat, OK. I got some people to go to the bar and guess what? I had to f#cking take them beer. I was like, are y’all going to come and vote or not? And they were like we’re going to meet you right now. I said come meet me because when you get to the bar, I’m going to have a bucket of beer for all of y’all to drink. I just took care of it. Just said your bucket is there.”
Later, Rodriguez told another Project Veritas journalist she was worried about what the other undercover journalist saw.
Raquel Rodriguez: “What I do picking up those ballots when he was with me – that’s illegal. I could go to jail. I’m a little apprehensive to tell anybody what I’m f#cking doing, you know what I’m saying? And again, once he works with me once, he’s gonna say—”
Journalist: “I guess Trump was right. (laughs) I’m sorry.”
Rodriguez: “About doing stuff illegal?”
Journalist: “I’m sorry?”
Rodriguez: “About doing stuff illegal?”
Journalist: “Yeah, they all said he was full of sh#t.”
Rodriguez: “Oh hell no, he’s not. It’s true—‘cause you’re not supposed to do that.”
Meet Joanne Ramon
Rodriguez said another ballot chaser working in Bexar County is Joanne Ramon.
All the apparent law-breaking is all part of the job—along with her relationship with Ramon, she said. “She [Joanne Ramon] calls me and I chase the ballot.”
Another Project Veritas journalist spoke to Ramon about her ballot chasing and how she understands it is illegal for someone working for a campaign, such as Rodriguez, who is paid by the Garza campaign, to collect ballots.
Journalist: “Speaking of Raquel, she told us she chases the ballots. That’s what she said.”
Joanne Ramon: “You wanna go to jail, cuz I’m not.”
Journalist: “Oh, no, I don’t want to go to jail. I also don’t wanna–“
Ramon: “She can’t, she can’t chase ballots. She can’t.”
Rodriguez, in another exchange said why she works with Ramon.
Raquel Rodriguez: “The only reason I deal with Joanne is because I find out a lot of stuff.”
Journalist: “But, she’s doing that. She’s doing sh#t—”
Rodriguez: “That she shouldn’t be doing.”
Journalist: “She shouldn’t be doing?”
Rodriguez: “But, she doesn’t know I know–remember, but remember if you know me, I can keep a secret.”
The chase of the ballot for Ramon is a refined process, especially when it comes to collecting ballots from senior citizens, Rodriguez said.
“It’s chasing the ballot,” Rodriguez said. “OK, you’re 65 years of age and you get your application because she sent it to you–so, she’s got a list. OK, so: ‘Tony, did you receive your ballot yet?’ and she knows because she’s got inside connections.”
‘Ballot chasing’ racket violates both Texas, federal election laws
Project Veritas Chief Legal Officer Jered Ede said Rodriguez and her confederates have come into conflict with federal and Texas election laws.
“In addition to the fact that Texas law does not permit harvesting non-family members’ ballots,” he said, “Texas law makes a separately punishable violation for Rodriguez to be paid to harvest ballots, and yet another violation to pay others to harvest ballots for her organization.”
Ede said, “Rodriguez may qualify for a sentence enhancement under Texas Election Code §276.012, which increases the penalty for ballot harvesting if three or more people are involved. Rodriguez boasts of having over a dozen ballot harvesters on her payroll – thus pushing these misdemeanors into state felonies, punishable by up to two years.”
Another section of the Texas Election Code, §64.036(a)(3), bars suggesting to a voter by “word sign or gesture” how the voter should vote while assisting the voter, punishable by up to one-year imprisonment, he said.
“Despite this, Rodriguez brags about accompanying voters in the polling booth to ensure they vote the way she wants,” which Ede said it appears to be yet another blatant flaunting of Texas law.
Rodriguez does not simply stop at suggesting how to vote, however, he said.
“We further have footage of Rodriguez coercing an individual to change her vote from Senator Cornyn to Hegar,” said Ede. “This appears to be a violation of Texas Election Code §276.013, which makes it a felony up to two years to influence a voter over 65 years old.”
Rodriguez’s practice of giving her voters gifts violates both federal and state law, he said.
“If Rodriguez is giving her voters gifts to secure a vote or even a voter registration, this would be a violation of Texas Election Code §276.010 and federal law – 52 USC §10307(c) and 18 USC §597, which bar buying ballots or other voting material. If convicted, Rodriguez faces up to two years in prison for violating state law, and up to five years for violating federal law,” he said.
Even Rodriguez’s claim to be merely assisting voters is a violation of state law, he said.
“Rodriguez is prohibited by Texas law to assist voters unless the voter does not read the language the ballot is written in or is otherwise unable to fill out the ballot on their own,” he said.
“Rodriguez’s bragging about ensuring first-time voters and ex-inmates vote for her candidates does not seem to make any attempt to comply with this law.”
Rodriguez, a political operative who described herself as a ballot chaser, told Project Veritas undercover journalists, posing as potential clients, that one of her main jobs is helping Mauro Garza, the Republican House hopeful for Texas’ 20th District.
Garza, who owns San Antonio’s Pegasus nightclub, met with Rodriguez to discuss what she could do for him as he was launching his congressional campaign, she said.
“Mauro, right now, he said: ‘OK, Raquel, if you were running, what would you do?’ So, he sat me down and I said: ‘I would do this, this, this, this, and this.’ He said: ‘How much money do you think you would need?’ And I budgeted everything, right? OK, so you do it,’” she said.
“He was paying me $5,000 a month, but now he’s paying me $8,000 a month, why? Because I took on his extra jobs,” she said.
Garza campaign responds to Project Veritas probe, blasts Rodriguez
After Tuesday’s release of the first part of the Project Veritas investigation into voter fraud in Texas, which exposed the corrupt practices of ballot chaser Raquel Rodriguez, GOP House hopeful Mauro Garza condemned those practices and said that Rodriguez was no longer working for his campaign.
“A former Mauro Garza campaign volunteer was recorded alleging voter fraud in our local elections. I welcome any investigation and accountability to expose these outlandish allegations.
I do not endorse or support any wrongdoing or voter fraud. If any member of my campaign team, paid or volunteer, engages in or gives the perception of any negligent behavior or threatens the integrity of voter registration or engages in voter fraud, they will be immediately fired and turned over to the County elections office and law enforcement. The volunteer in the investigative video no longer serves on my campaign. I hope that this story encourages the news media and legal authorities to investigate all evidence of voter fraud and suppression as it has been a rampant problem for decades in South Texas. I have been a long-time advocate for voter integrity and will continue my fight to make our voices as citizens heard, fairly and honestly.
All I can ask for is patience from our supporters and a thorough investigation to secure the integrity of our elections.”
Some Texas Republicans secretly working for Democrats
Rodriguez told a Project Veritas journalist she would not work for President Donald J. Trump.
Rodriguez did not say directly that she was paid by former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s campaign or the campaign for Democratic Senate candidate Mary Jennings “MJ” Hegar, but she said she was working for both candidates and she does not work for free.
“Yeah, I’m getting the Biden vote out, but I mean I’m not going to do it for free–in other words if they don’t pay me, I’m like excuse me?” she said.
“I’m against Trump. OK. I’m with Biden and I’m with Hegar. That’s the truth,” she said. “I’ve got three Democrats; three Republicans and the rest are Democrats.” Hegar is running against Republican Sen. John Cornyn III.
Rodriguez said it is not about party loyalty, it is about the money, when a Project Veritas journalist asked about what it would take to hire her—and among her clients are Texas Republicans secretly helping the Democrats win, she said.
“My people are undercover because some of them are Republicans,” she said. “Some of them are Democrats. Some of them are just wanting to get the right people in office, so some of the Republicans are precinct chairs that cannot be known because they could get kicked out, but they want to help Biden–and so that’s how they’re helping me.”
Rodriguez said she was also hired to help candidates running for judge.
“So, those three judges that you’re talking about, and that’s her name? Renee Yanta, Nicole Garza, right? They’re paying me $3,500. Me, $3,500 to make sure that their name is on the ballot,” she said. Yanta is a Republican and Garza is a Democrat.
Rodriguez even said she looks forward to judges, like Yanta, being in her debt.
“Renee Yanta, she’s running for [judge], so the thing is, I’m going to have people like that with me, like in my pocket, you know what I’m saying?” she said.
Yanta denies she hired Rodriguez, Ramon to harvest ballots for her
Yanta told Project Veritas that she hired Raquel Rodriguez to help with her campaign, such as running an information table with workers wearing her campaign tee-shirts and holding signs.
She said she hired Rodriguez on the recommendation of Joanne Ramon, who she also hired for her campaign—but, then, fired Ramon, when she learned that Ramon was also working for her opponent.
The candidate for judge said she was stunned that Rodriguez would speak about her being in her debt as a siting judge. “I would never be in her debt and I would never-ever be in her pocket. I have run five campaigns. I have always run them ethically. I have always been a rule-of-law judge. It is extremely disturbing to me that she would say such a thing.”
Yanta said, “I did not hire either Joanne Ramon or Raquel Rodriguez or anyone else to chase ballots or for ballot harvesting.”
Rodriguez describes her ballot harvesting operation
O’Keefe said, “Rodriguez is more than just a political consultant. She directs a team of more than a dozen operatives, who act as hired guns for Republicans and Democrats looking to pay for votes.”
In one conversation with a Project Veritas journalist, Rodriguez said how much her services cost.
Raquel Rodriguez: “Let’s say $6 per vote, right? And I’m going to bring in 5,000 votes.”
Rodriguez: “5,000 votes, that’s county-wide.”
O’Keefe said Project Veritas journalists exposed election and voter fraud going on right now in real-time.
“We’ve just seen in our undercover reporting that a small handful of people are able to manipulate thousands of votes for one of the most important elections of our time,” he said.
“If we don’t stop this abhorrent illegal activity now, buying votes will become the new normal and the voter’s right to choose will be a relic of the past,” he said.
Rodriguez helps Liz Campos
Another candidate Rodriguez said she agreed to help is Elizabeth Campos, the Democratic hopeful for the 119th District seat in the Texas House of Representatives.
“I told her: ‘Are you tired of losing?’ Because, she lost twice, three strikes you’re out. I said: ‘You’ve never had me on your team.’ She said: ‘Let’s try it.’”
Rodriguez said she was committed to Campos—as long as Campos understood she owed her.
“And I brought her, listen to this, I brought her through the general, to the primary, and she was in a runoff and I got her out of the runoff. Now she couldn’t afford me. The average person would have said: ‘You know what, f*ck you, I’m not gonna help you run against your opponent.’ You know what I told her? ‘I respect you. You’re going to owe me—OK? Just remember what I am doing for you,’” she said.
Rodriguez said Campos was smart to take the deal.
Early voting has become a wildcard, she said.
“She’s very smart. She may have done it on purpose, but she knew she was going to win, but right now they’re scared because of all the people that could have voted,” she said.
Another challenge, Rodriguez said, is working on the cheap, but other members of the team are not in on her deal with Campos.
“They don’t know how that’s going to go,” Rodriguez said. “But I told her like: ‘You know what? I’m pushing you as much as I can, but I can’t make everybody else push you because everybody else is getting paid.’”
Rodriguez said to a Project Veritas journalist that she would not work to re-elect President Donald J. Trump, but besides Garza, there are other Republicans she will help—such as state Sen. Peter P. Flores, who represents the 19th District.
Raquel Rodriguez: “The senator is Pete Flores.”
Journalist: “Pete Flores.”
Rodriguez: “He’s a Republican, he’s going to win.”
Journalist: “OK, has he won already?”
Rodriguez: “Yeah, he’s already won.”
Journalist: “So, you’ve got Pete in your –“
Rodriguez: “He called me and said: ‘Raquel, what do you need?’ I told him I needed some face masks that he’s giving out, he gave me like, 22 dozen.”
Journalist: “You got Pete in the pocket.”
Rodriguez: “Pete in the pocket.”
Texas Attorney General Paxton launches investigation into ballot abuses
Texas Attorney General W. Kenneth Paxton Jr. announced Monday that his Election Fraud Unit is probing the organized election fraud scheme exposed by Project Veritas.
“What’s shown in the video is shocking and should alarm all Texans who care about election integrity,” Paxton said. “We are aggressively investigating the serious allegations and potential crimes that Project Veritas’s documentary audio and video recordings shed light on today.”
Paxton said his office was fiercely committed to ensuring that the voting process is secure and fair in all Texas elections after the Project Veritas investigation casts a shadow of doubt on the integrity of the elections.
“Election integrity has been a top priority of mine since I first took office in 2015. Anyone who attempts to defraud the people of Texas, deprive them of their vote, or undermine the integrity of elections will be brought to justice and penalized to the fullest extent of the law,” he said.
O’Keefe said, “We hope the legal authorities in the state of Texas take note of this investigation–voter fraud and election fraud are real, and this country needs to wake up and do something about it.”
Texas Public Policy Foundation praises Texas AG’s probe into ballot harvesting abuses
“TPPF and its Election Protection Project commend Veritas for their bravery in disclosing how laws are flouted, abused and violated with impunity during the election cycle to game the Texas elections,” said Francisco “Quico” Canseco, the director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Election Protection Project.
“It’s why we have endeavored to explore and highlight areas in election law that are ripe for abuse and suggest reforms that protect the integrity of every ballot,” he said.
“At the top of the list is mail-in ballots, which, by breaking the chain of custody from voter to ballot box, creates the very opportunity for fraud and coercion exposed in this case,” Canseco said. “We applaud the Attorney General Ken Paxton and his office for taking action and protecting the Citizens of Texas and their voice at the ballot box.”
About Project Veritas
James O’Keefe established Project Veritas in 2011 as a non-profit journalism enterprise to continue his undercover reporting work. Today, Project Veritas investigates and exposes corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud, and other misconduct in both public and private institutions to achieve a more ethical and transparent society. O’Keefe serves as the CEO and Chairman of the Board so that he can continue to lead and teach his fellow journalists, as well as protect and nurture the Project Veritas culture.
Project Veritas is a registered 501(c)3 organization. Project Veritas does not advocate specific resolutions to the issues raised through its investigations. Support our work today!
UPDATE: On January 14, 2021, Rachel Rodriguez was arrested and charged with election fraud, illegal voting, unlawfully assisting people voting by mail, and unlawfully possessing an official ballot, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced this week. Each is a felony under Texas law.