Project Veritas infiltrated a ballot harvesting operation in San Antonio, Texas, where a political operative was caught on camera pressuring a senior citizen to vote a “straight Dem” ticket in exchange for a gift.
PV Journalist: “I guess @realDonaldTrump was right.”
Rodriguez: “About doing stuff illegal?”
PV Journalist: “Yeah, they all said he was full of sh*t.”
— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) October 27, 2020
Political operative Raquel Rodriguez told a Veritas undercover reporter that she alone was “bringing at least at least 7,000 votes to the polls” using this mix of gifts and coercion.
The journalist was allowed to accompany Rodriguez on her ballot harvesting rounds to learn how to collect ballots, after paying her $500.
According to Veritas, Rodriguez is “nominally a political consultant” for GOP House candidate Mauro E. Garza, the owner of the San Antonio’s The Pegasus, a popular gay nightclub.
Garza, who is gay, is known for wearing Trump-inspired red hats reading “Make TX-21 Greater” and is a frequent retweeter of the president. He is also known for posting conservative memes mocking freshman House Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
“How in the hell am I going to get a Republican, gay, Mexican Jew to win this f—king race, right?” Rodriguez asked the PV reporter. She said that she and another operative decided that they only way was to register every motherf—ker in the area, everybody in that district, and then I’ve got to flip all these Dems, but I’ve got to flip them only for him, only for him.”
The video footage however shows Rodriguez pressuring an elderly woman to vote a straight Dem ticket.
After examining the woman’s ballot, the Rodriguez urged her to change her vote from Republican Senator John Cornyn to Democrat MJ Hegar in the U.S. Senate race.
Raquel Rodriguez told the woman: “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?”
“Can I leave it like that?” the old woman asked meekly.
Rodriguez took the clipboard from the senior and explained how to change the ballot so it looked 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,” she said.
After the senior “corrected” her ballot, Rodriguez gifted her with a shawl.
“Oh … what’s this?!” the delighted woman exclaimed.
“She didn’t vote for who we wanted her to vote for,” Rodriguez later told the undercover journalist.
“She was clearly voting for John Cornyn, and then you made her …” the Veritas reporter began.
“But that’s my job,” Rodriguez interjected.
According to Veritas, Rodriguez said Garza gave her a gift budget of $2,500 for his campaign.
In addition to the shawls, she also reportedly bribes voters with rosaries, diabetic socks and wallets.
She bragged that she would deliver “at least at least 7,000 votes to the polls.”
“Seven thousand—and that’s for San Antonio for this area too. It’s a lot,” the undercover journalist noted.
“That’s a lot. It’s a lot, period. Just so you know–have an idea–so this is what I do,” Rodriguez said in response.
She told Project Veritas that as a consultant working for a candidate, it is illegal for her to be handling ballots at all.
“I’ve got a candidate I’m technically working for. We’ve got ballots that we must pick up. But an employee of a candidate cannot do that. It’s illegal,” Rodriguez explained.
“That’s illegal. I’m a little apprehensive to tell somebody what I’m f—king doing,” she later said.
The ballot harvester said she develops personal relationships with the seniors she extracts votes from and then uses multiple post offices to mail the ballots, 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.”
Additionally, Rodriguez said that she sometimes hosts parties at a bar for her marks, 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.
“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—king take them beer, Rodriguez explained. “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.”
Rodriguez later told another Project Veritas journalist that she was worried about what the other undercover journalist had witnessed.
“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—king doing, you know what I’m saying? And again, once he works with me once, he’s gonna say—”
“I guess Trump was right— I’m sorry,” the undercover journalist laughed.
“About doing stuff illegal?” Rodriguez asked.
“Yeah, they all said he was full of sh-t,” the journalist replied.
“Oh hell no, he’s not. It’s true—‘cause you’re not supposed to do that,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez introduced the PV undercover journalist to Joanne Ramon, another ballot chaser working in Bexar County.
“She [Joanne Ramon] calls me and I chase the ballot,” Rodriguez said.
Another Project Veritas journalist spoke to Ramon about her ballot harvesting and if she understands that it’s illegal for someone working for a 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.”
Jered Ede, a legal advisor for Project Veritas, said Rodriguez and other ballot harvesters in Texas are violating both Texas and federal 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 added: “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.
Ede noted that Rodriguez does not stop at merely suggesting to people how to vote.
“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.”
Moreover, Rodriguez’s practice of giving her voters gifts violates both federal and state law, Ede 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.
“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.”
“Stay tuned because I think somebody is going to be arrested in the next 24 hours,” O’Keefe said.
Democrat operatives in Texas have been working overtime to turn the state blue in 2020.
As American Greatness reported in September, three private investigators provided sworn affidavits as part of a class-action lawsuit in the Texas Supreme Court against Harris County and the state of Texas in an effort to stop a massive ballot harvesting scheme in Harris County. Two of the investigators testified under oath that they have “video evidence, documentation and witnesses” to prove their case. With the help of mass mail-in ballots, the illegal ballot harvesting operation could harvest 700,000 ballots, one Harris County Democrat operative allegedly bragged.
After the Project Veritas video went massively viral, Twitter labeled it “sensitive” and kept it from appearing in its trending section.
-1,100,000+ views in 3 hours
-Twitter has labeled video “sensitive content”
-Twitter censoring #RiggedElection from trending section
-Someone will likely be arrested within the next 24 hours
Stay tuned ???????? pic.twitter.com/1I7Bpp9Hg7
— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) October 27, 2020