Millions of dollars being spent on ridesharing vote

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — If you live in the City of Austin, you’ve probably received at least one flyer, email (or both) regarding Prop 1.

With one week until election day, Ridesharing Works for Austin, the political action committee asking voters to approve Proposition 1, has taken in close to $5 million in political contributions, according to a financial document filed with the city April 29.

The contributions, which come from Uber and Lyft, include more than checks. The total includes services like consulting and other donations such as lodging. Earlier this month, the PAC had just more than $2 million in its account and had only spent $781,251. The new financial documents show the PAC has increased its spending to $4.6 million in the past three weeks.

On the other side, the political action committee called Our City Our Safety Our Choice has received donations totaling $88,000.

Early voting ends Tuesday, May 3. Election day is Saturday, May 7. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Check for the closest polling location in your area. As of Friday, nearly 25,000 people have cast ballots in the Prop 1 election.

Voting for Prop 1

Voting “yes” on the proposition means standard background checks for these drivers will continue. Those checks do not include fingerprinting. The current regulations mandating criminal background check for ridesharing drivers would stay in place.

Uber and Lyft have shared their strong stance against fingerprint background checks. Both ridesharing companies have threatened to leave Austin if the proposition fails.

Voting against Prop 1

A vote of “no” means these drivers will be required to go through fingerprint background checks in addition to criminal background checks.

During SXSW taxi drivers joined the debate saying Uber is bullying the city into adopting their ridesharing ordinances. “Uber and Lyft have purchased a May 7 election for voters to decide on whether the City Council or big corporations should write the ordinance that governs ride-sharing companies,” said Dave Passmore, President of the Taxi Drivers Association of Austin.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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