Every Wednesday afternoon CapRadio’s PolitiFact California reporter Chris Nichols joins host Steve Milne for “Can You Handle The Truth?” a weekly conversation about his latest fact checks and reporting on misinformation.
Click play above to hear the entire conversation, and see some highlights of their conversation below.
On misinformation around voting by mail
Even with all the plans for mail-in voting, Californians can go to the polls in-person this fall, if they choose to. And recently we saw some really questionable claims pop up on social media about this.
On Instagram, posts said Californians would be turned away from the polls on Election Day unless they made a change in their voting preference and marked “No to mail in voting.”
We spoke with Sam Mahood of the California Secretary of State’s Office, who described this as simply false.
"There was a lie or inaccuracy in just about every sentence of that post," Mahood said. "Let’s be clear, you do not have to change anything with your voter registration in order to participate in-person in this election.”
Because it was so extreme and reckless, we gave it our most severe rating: Pants On Fire.
On the laws that make voting more than once a crime in California
We looked into this after President Donald Trump encouraged people in North Carolina to vote by mail and in-person last week.
We found that under California law, voting twice is a felony and it’s punishable by up to 3 years in prison. Under federal law, you can be sent to prison for up to 5 years. So, really the message on this one is: Have a plan, go out and vote in this election, but do it just once.
On misinformation surrounding a proposed law that is awaiting the governor’s signature by California state Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco
For months now, there’s really been an onslaught of false and distorted claims about Senate Bill 145.
One of the most outrageous ones is that the bill would “legalize pedophilia” in California. And that’s just not the case. The bill would give judges additional discretion on who gets placed on the sex offender registry for life.
Under current law, a judge decides whether to place young adults on that list after they are convicted of statutory rape, meaning non-forcible intercourse, involving a heterosexual sex act. This bill would give a judge that same discretion in cases involving certain sex acts mainly affecting ‘LGBTQ young adults’ who are convicted of statutory rape.
“It’s irrational, it’s discriminatory," Wiener said. "It absolutely has to change and we’re committed to doing what it takes to pass this important civil rights legislation.”
The claim also earned our worst rating, Pants On Fire.
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
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