NOT REAL NEWS: Texas bill won’t ban van pools to polls
A proposed Texas Senate bill does not prohibit drivers from transporting groups of “elderly, disabled or poor” to the polls to vote as social media posts shared widely suggest.
The false claims, which have been shared thousands of times on Twitter and Facebook, distort a provision about Election Day transportation in Senate Bill 9. The posts suggest the bill would make it illegal for organized vans to transport people without cars, including the poor and those in nursing homes, to polling places.
The bill, introduced in March by Mineola Republican Sen. Bryan Hughes, would stiffen penalties for election-related crimes, including making it a felony to put false information on a voter registration form. Since the GOP-backed bill passed the Senate in April, civil rights groups have rebuked it, saying it would make voting in the state difficult and bureaucratic.
The posts single out a section of the bill that requires anyone driving three or more non-relatives to vote to fill out a form, but the rule applies only in a special circumstance.
“It’s only if you are driving three or more people who are physically disabled who want to vote curbside from the polls, allowing them to vote from their car,” Sam Taylor, a spokesman for the Texas secretary of state’s office, told The Associated Press.
In those cases, drivers would need to fill out a form providing their name, address, relationship to the voters and the reason for the transportation to the poll.
The AP’s review of the legislation confirms it would only apply in this circumstance.
This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.