Users of the popular ride-sharing app Lyft may have received a notification recently offering a $10 credit for a ride to a polling location.
A Lyft representative sent KVUE the following statement regarding the credit:
"All users in the city received a ride credit good for up to $10 for a ride to or from any polling location. There is absolutely no requirement to vote for or against Prop 1, or to even vote at all once they've arrived at the location.
“Since the beginning of this effort, we have been focused on encouraging voter participation in Austin, including helping to register over 7,500 new voters in the city. Making it easy and convenient for people to be heard at the polls - no matter how they vote - is something we are proud to do and have done across the country, most recently this Super Tuesday.
"Anyone with a Lyft account in the city should be able to open the app and see the credit in their account - nothing needs to be done outside of requesting a ride that begins or ends at a polling location (the credit is only applied if the pick up or drop off is a polling location)."
Many online responded to the offer by questioning its legality and asking if one of the companies involved in the election should be able to offer an incentive to potential voters.
Attorney Ross Fischer with The Gober Group agreed that it does look fishy at first, but said legally it's OK.
"There are laws in Texas that govern the involvement of corporations in local measure elections like the Prop 1 election," Fischer said. "Basically they have two options: They can make an expenditure, an independent expenditure and then they would have to go report that to the City of Austin. The second option is they treat it as a campaign contribution to the committee that's supporting Prop 1."
In both instances, Fischer said Lyft would have to record each credit they give out and then report that information to the appropriate agency.
Fischer added that it is common during elections for corporations to offer free transportation to voting places.