EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Don’t believe everything you read on Facebook. Those are the words from El Paso County Elections Administrator Lisa Wise after a post spread “like wildfire” on Facebook claiming ballots would be disqualified if a poll worker wrote on them.
Posts claim a poll worker went through training where they learned ballots would be disqualified if a poll worker wrote something on a person’s ballot before handing it to them and entering it into the voting machine. Not just El Pasoans, but people from all across the country have shared this post on Facebook.
Wise said people may share this thinking it’s true because they may be unaware of the election laws in their states, like Texas for example.
“In the state of Texas, election code requires that our judges initial the back of the ballot so the idea that any markings on there will disqualify your ballot is completely false,” Wise said.
She added that social media makes it so easy for misinformation to spread at the click of a button.
“It’s like the telephone game right, where I tell you and it changes a bit and you tell her and it changes,” Wise said.
Another false claim, Wise said people believe they are exercising their First Amendment rights by wearing items or slogans supporting their candidates or parties.
“Once you’re within 100 feet, you are considered to be electioneering if you’re wearing something promoting or opposing a candidate,” Wise said. She adds even wearing former candidate items or slogans is prohibited.
Wise said misinformation generally spreads more around presidential elections, especially with the ever-changing laws in Texas.
“You can have this many drop spots, no you can’t; you can vote by mail, no you can’t; so every day something is changing and it’s hard to keep up with as an election administrator, so I know voters are wanting to get the correct information,” Wise said.
To avoid spreading false information, the Elections Department urges the public to call the department if they see or hear anything they may not understand or want to know more about.
You can call the department at (915) 546-2154 or visit the Elections Department website at epcountyvotes.com.