KENDALL COUNTY, Texas – A voter fraud case against a San Antonio campaign worker is in doubt after the Texas Attorney General’s Office said in court filings that it had been disqualified from handling the case.
Raquel Rodriguez was charged in early 2021 with election fraud, illegal voting, unlawfully assisting people voting by mail, and unlawfully possessing an official ballot.
Investigators filed formal charges months after they said Rodriguez was seen on video describing to an undercover journalist how she convinces voters to change their ballots and in return provides the voters with gift bags.
The 2020 video, edited and produced by the conservative activist organization Project Veritas, was viewed by investigators in its raw and unedited form, AG officials previously said.
Rodriguez was shown in the October 2020 footage 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 shows Rodriguez instructing the woman to draw a line through her vote and initial the change, arrest warrants state.
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 then-United States congressional 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, the warrants state.
Rodriguez is then seen on the footage giving the woman a gift bag, which included a shawl, the warrants state.
The criminal case was filed in Kendall County, despite the alleged criminal acts taking place in Bexar County.
In a pair of notices filed with the court in November, the head of the AG’s Election Integrity Division cited an appeals court decision in stating that his office could no longer prosecute the cases.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals previously ruled that the AG’s authority to unilaterally prosecute election law cases violated the separation of powers doctrine and was unconstitutional, the filings state.
“As such, the Attorney General’s Office has been disqualified as representing the State in the instant case. And it now appears this honorable Court has no alternative but to grant the Defendant’s motion to dismiss,” the filing states.
As of Friday, however, the charges against Rodriguez had not been dismissed.
The delay is due in part to prosecutors with the AG’s office not showing up for scheduled hearings in the case, records obtained by KSAT Investigates show.
AG officials contend they can no longer file motions or appear on behalf of the state, the records show.
Rodriguez faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted, the AG’s office previously said.