HOUSTON, Texas — Battleground Texas (BGTX) may have failed to take any action regarding the “admission” of an undercover volunteer with BGTX that she had broken multiple election laws, according to a new video investigation by journalist James O’Keefe’s organization Project Veritas. The allegations come on the heels of sting earlier this year that busted BGTX, a group attempting to turn Texas blue, for illegally copying voters’ personal data for campaign purposes.
Project Veritas claims that BGTX personnel did not take action after being told by a volunteer that voters were registered by an individual who did not have the authority to do so, and that completed voter forms were lost.
Under Texas law, voter registration can only be performed by deputized voter registrars. Volunteer deputy registrars must deliver completed forms to the registrar, and they must receive proper training.
These rules are “very important. It’s a crime to handle a completed registration form without being officially certified as a [volunteer deputy registrar],” Mimi Marziani, the Voter Protection Director for BGTX says in a video on the organization’s website.
“We wondered how seriously they took their own advice, and the laws of Texas,” O’Keefe said.
So Project Veritas sent an undercover investigator, identified as “Ronnie,” to find out.
Ronnie started working with BGTX and became acquaintances with several of the organization’s staff members. On the tape, Ronnie can be seen telling Emma Bauer, who works for Battleground Texas, that though Ronnie was not properly deputized, she still registered several people to vote.
“Somebody handed me a registration card, and so I don’t know how it happened but I accidentally signed some people up,” Ronnie said.
Ronnie additionally told Bauer that she no longer has the forms and does now know where they went. She added that some of the registration cards she filled out where destroyed because she “had a problem” with some of the people she had registered.
According to Battleground Texas’ own website, “You can’t refuse to register someone to vote simply because their views differ from your own.”
The newly released video appears to show that subsequent to speaking with Bauer, Ronnie approached Sam Kraus, a more senior BGTX operative, and repeated her story. “I accidentally signed up some people without having deputization…Also there was another thing too, there was some people that were giving me a hard time. I kind of tossed those in the trash, regrettably.”
“The lesson is that you should never have thrown that voter registration form away,” Kraus told Ronnie. “Tell [Bauer] that you definitely need to get deputized.”
Ronnie then approached Bauer and informed her that Kraus said they were going to “leave this alone.” “We’re going to follow Sam,” Bauer said. “As long as it’s not on me, we’re going to follow. I’m all good with that, I’m all good with that.”
According to O’Keefe, Bauer’s comments implied that no action would be taken by BGTX to report Ronnie’s apparent “illegal” registering people to vote without being properly deputized or the loss of completed voter registration forms.
In the video, O’Keefe can be seen going to Kraus’ apartment to inquire as to whether or not the alleged improprieties had been reported to the proper officials for investigation. Kraus refused to let O’Keefe into his residence and instead said through the door, “I can’t talk right now, I’m still getting ready for the day.” Upon leaving his apartment, Kraus threatened to call the police if O’Keefe did not leave, even though the journalist claims he was on public property at the time.
O’Keefe told Breitbart Texas that he spoke to the office of Harris County Tax Assessor Mike Sullivan, and was informed that BGTX ultimately did not report any wrongdoing to Harris County officials.
Stan Stanart, the Harris County Clerk, told O’Keefe that people or organizations who do not follow the law will be “investigated by the DA if there’s anything in dealing with elections that I think is wrong. I’m going to turn it over to the DA to be investigated.”
In a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas O’Keefe said of his recent work, “Our video investigation, once again, highlights the concerns Texans should have with Battleground Texas’ methods and their apparent inability to follow the rule of law. Voting is a sacred right Americans cherish. When a group such as this one continues to show they are unconcerned with protecting the validity of that right, it is time they face much higher scrutiny and answer for their transgressions.”
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.
Disclosure: Kristin Tate previously worked with James O’Keefe on his ‘Obama Phone’ investigation.