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San Antonio campaign worker traded gift bags for ballot changes, investigators say

Raquel Rodriguez, 55, faces multiple felony counts following Jan. 13 arrest in San Antonio

Raquel Rodriguez (left) faces charges of election fraud, illegal voting, unlawfully assisting people voting by mail, and unlawfully possessing an official ballot, according to a press release from AG Ken Paxton’s office. (Kendall County)

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio campaign worker arrested earlier this month was helping a dozen people in the area vote and had rows of gift bags to hand out as part of an alleged voter fraud scheme, according to arrest warrants obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders.

Raquel Rodriguez, 55, faces multiple felony charges, some of which have been enhanced because the woman she’s accused of instructing to change her votes was older than 65.

Rodriguez was taken into custody on San Antonio’s East Side Jan. 13 and later booked on the charges, which were filed in Kendall County, records show.

Her arrest came months after she was prominently featured in a Project Veritas video, allegedly describing to an undercover journalist how she convinces voters to change their ballots and in return provides the voters with gift bags.

The video prompted the Texas Attorney General’s Office to launch a criminal investigation of Rodriguez.

In the same video, Rodriguez is seen in early October meeting with a woman, who at the time was 72 years old, on the porch of the woman’s near West Side home.

The footage, which officials from the AG’s office claim they were able to view raw and unedited, allegedly shows Rodriguez instruct the woman to draw a line through her vote and initial the change.

Rodriguez then takes the ballot from the woman and appears to cross out a vote for United States Senator John Cornyn and marks it instead for candidate M.J. Hegar, according to the warrants.

Rodriguez then seals the ballot and takes it with her, even though the woman had a mailbox just a few feet away, according to the warrants.

Raquel Rodriguez (left) faces charges of election fraud, illegal voting, unlawfully assisting people voting by mail, and unlawfully possessing an official ballot, according to a press release from AG Ken Paxton’s office. (Kendall County)

Rodriguez is then seen on the footage giving the woman a gift bag, which includes a shawl, the warrants state.

“I could go to prison for what I just did,” Rodriguez states at one point during the footage, according to the warrant.

Records show the AG investigator gathered evidence for the criminal case in early December, including the envelope holding the ballot, from the Bexar County Elections Office.

According to the warrant, Rodriguez stated that the woman was one of a dozen voters in the area she was helping to vote.

The investigator also stated that footage shows rows of generic gift bags like the one Rodriguez gave the woman, lined up in Rodriguez’s home office.

According to the warrant, Rodriguez agreed to take the undercover journalist on the ride along in exchange for $500.

Project Veritas is a far-right activist organization that utilizes undercover video and audio in its projects. The organization, along with founder James O’Keefe, have been criticized for using what are described as deceptive editing techniques.

The undercover journalist, who is not named in the warrants, was interviewed as part of the criminal investigation of Rodriguez, the warrants state.

Rodriguez faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted, according to a news release from the AG’s office earlier this month.


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