TEXAS—Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced on Wednesday, January 13 that an individual by the name Raquel Rodriguez was arrested on account of voter fraud. She was arrested for election fraud, illegal voting, unlawfully assisting voting by mail, and unlawfully possessing an official ballot.
Rodriguez was a consultant for GOP House candidate Mauro Garza. Garza was paying Rodriguez $5,000 a month to bring in votes, but Rodriguez says that Garza started paying her $8,000 a month because of the extra jobs that she was willing to do for him to get him elected. Rodriguez didn’t go into detail about what those jobs consisted of. Rodriguez was seen persuading an elderly woman to change her vote on her mail-in ballot from Republican Senator John Cornyn to Democratic candidate M.J. Hegar, and in exchange for her vote Rodriguez gifted the elderly woman a shawl in violation of election law.
Texas law states that it’s illegal to harvest ballots, pay others to ballot harvest, and ballot harvesting is a felony if done with three or more people. Rodriguez was exposed in a Project Veritas video last fall while she engaged in vote harvesting leading up to the 2020 election.
Last year, Rodriguez was caught on tape talking to an undercover journalist with Project Veritas laying out all of the details of how she makes thousands of dollars working with elected officials. Project Veritas is a non-profit journalism enterprise doing undercover reporting work that was established by James O’Keefe in 2011. They investigate what many consider corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud, and other misconduct in both public and private institutions. Rodriguez told a Project Veritas investigator that she brought in 7,000 ballots to the polls in the San Antonio area.
Attorney General Paxton didn’t say whether others were working with Rodriguez, but she admitted on tape that she was working with a team of at least five other people to flip votes. Those other people remain unnamed.
Rodriguez is also seen and heard in the video footage saying that each vote costs between $5-$8. She also says that the going rate for getting a candidate elected for city council or judgeship is $71,000. Judges Renee Yanta and Nicole Garza paid Rodriguez $3,500 each to put their names on the ballot.
By participating in this voter fraud scheme Rodriguez admits that she knows that she has political power in her back pocket such as the state representative Liz Campos, the senator, the commissioner, and judges. Each charge constitutes a felony under the Texas election code.
If convicted for these crimes Rodriguez could face up to 20 years in prison. A recent KXAN investigation says that jail time is unlikely. Since 2004, 150 people have been charged with voter fraud in Texas. 138 of those people ended in either a guilty plea or conviction. Most of those were settled through plea agreements with the attorney general, and only 24 of those convicted spent at least a day in jail. The others who were convicted got probation or were given pre-trial diversion deals. This continues to be an ongoing investigation. Below is a link to the video of Rodriguez admitting to the voter fraud.