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The video was taken in March during the Texas primary election. In Texas primaries, there are different ballots for Republican and Democratic voters and separate sides for each party at polling places.
Some GOP and Democratic voters temporarily couldn’t vote during the Texas primary election because of staff shortages among both parties.
In a general election, all voters receive the same kind of ballot and vote in the same area at polling places.
A video posted on Instagram days before the Nov. 8 general election suggests GOP voters were denied access in the general election.
The video’s caption doesn’t say when or where it was filmed. But PolitiFact found that this video was taken in March in Texas, during the state’s primary elections — and doesn’t depict a calculated attempt to suppress Republican votes.
The video, posted to Instagram on Nov. 3, shows what appears to be an election worker inside a polling place. At the beginning of the video, the poll worker says, "with this election, you can vote in any precinct."
Someone off camera then asks him about the "Republican side" of the polling place, and the worker replies that the site is closed because he doesn’t have staff. When the person off camera asks more questions, the election worker says, "You can vote Democrat, not Republican."
The caption on the video says, "Polling official says poll site is closed if voting Republican due to ‘not enough staff.’"
Comments on the post reflected peoples’ confusion: "Can we please have context? Which election? Which state and city?" said one person. Many others asked, "Where is this?"
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook.)
Sam Taylor, spokesperson for the Texas Secretary of State, confirmed to PolitiFact that the video was taken during the state’s primary election.
"The issue back in March stemmed from a shortage of Republican poll workers for Primary Election Day in Harris County," Taylor said. A Harris County elections official told PolitiFact in March that the video was taken at the Hardy Senior Center in Houston.
In Texas primaries, there are different ballots for Republican and Democratic voters, and separate sides for each party at polling places, requiring judges from the respective political parties to staff each side. When the video was taken, both parties faced a shortage of election judges at their polling locations. That meant some voters temporarily couldn’t cast ballots and had to be directed to other locations.
That shouldn’t be a problem in this election, said Anthony Gutierrez, executive director of Common Cause Texas, part of the nationwide nonpartisan elections watchdog group. In a general election, all voters receive the same kind of ballot, so there are no separate sides within polling places that require requiring Democratic and Republican staffing.
An Instagram video suggests GOP voters were denied access in the general election.
The video was posted in the days before the Nov. 8 general election without any information about when or where it was taken.
It was taken in March, when some voters faced challenges voting in the Texas primary election. Some GOP voters in Texas temporarily couldn’t vote during the primary election because of staff shortages. Democratic voters were also diverted from some polls during the primary for the same reason.
We rate this claim False.
Instagram post, Nov. 3, 2022
Twitter post, March 1, 2022
PolitiFact, Why some voters faced challenges voting in the 2022 Texas primary, March 4, 2022
Email interview with Sam Taylor, Assistant Secretary of State Communications in the Office of the Texas Secretary of State, Nov. 8, 2022
Email interview with Anthony Gutierrez, executive director of Common Cause Texas, Nov. 8, 2022
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