AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Wednesday a woman accused of voter fraud and depicted in online videos in San Antonio has been arrested.
Paxton said Raquel Rodriguez is charged with election fraud, illegal voting, unlawfully assisting people voting by mail and unlawfully possessing an official ballot. If Rodriguez is convicted, she could face up to 20 years in prison, Paxton said.
Paxton said the source of evidence used against Rodriguez was video taken last fall and released online by the group Project Veritas. The conservative group, led by James O’Keefe III, has been previously accused of intentionally spreading misinformation online and questionable information-gathering tactics during its undercover sting operations. Paxton says the Election Fraud Division of his office reviewed “dozens of hours of unedited, raw footage” provided by the group, which ultimately led to Rodriguez’s arrest.
Paxton said the investigation into her case is ongoing.
IN DEPTH: Voter fraud convictions rare in Texas
In Texas, 150 people have been charged with voter fraud since 2004, KXAN News investigator Jody Barr reported in October. He reported 138 of those cases ended with either a guilty plea or a jury conviction, with the “vast majority” of cases settled through plea agreements with the attorney general.
Only 24 of those convicted spent at least a day in jail. The rest of the defendants were either given probation or pre-trail diversion deals, Barr reported.
Anti-voter fraud efforts in Texas
Paxton led a failed federal lawsuit against four states where Democrat Joe Biden won 2020 presidential elections. The U.S. Supreme Court said, “Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another state conducts its election.”
Republican Congressman Michael McCaul (TX-10) and the Texas Public Policy Foundation this month partnered to create the Election Protection Project in an effort to further investigate instances of fraud accusations.
The goals of the project are to ensure proper identification is provided for in-person and mail-voting, strengthening vote-by-mail security, encouraging a better path of communication between state and county officials and ensuring maintenance of voter rolls, KXAN statehouse correspondent Wes Rapaport reported in January.