“I Could Go To Jail”: Texas “Ballot Chaser” Illegally Pressures Voters To Change Votes To Democrat
- 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?”
- 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.”
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 at least 7,000 votes to the polls.”
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.”
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!
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