(Update) According to Fox10, Arizona’s Secretary of State has made it clear that ballots marked with Sharpie pens will be counted and that ballots are purposefully offset so that the ink doesn’t bleed through and interfere with other ballots:
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs says ballots marked with Sharpies will be counted by the elections department. Maricopa County ballots are deliberately offset so that if ink bleeds through, it does not interfere with the bubbles on the other side.
Not many can believe that Arizona went blue and that something was odd. Indeed, something was odd. They were calling the state long before it had any right to be called over at Fox, but I digress.
It seems that there were some very odd things happening on the ground in Arizona and one video making the rounds on Twitter shows something that could be an attempt at voter suppression.
User “dowhatlightsyou” shows a video being filmed by a man talking to a woman. According to him, they were invalidating votes by handing out sharpie pens to people when ball-point pens are the only valid way of filling out a ballot. According to the woman, a man came out and yelled at her three times to stop handing out the ballpoint pens, allowing only sharpies to be used. The Twitter user also claimed that she, too, was handed a sharpie when she went to vote as well.
There is NO way this State is blue!!! WHY?! THIS!!! I saw this video on Twitter and YES… I too; was given a Sharpie at my polling place in Pinal County to vote!!! I call BS!!! @dougducey @realDonaldTrump @DonaldJTrumpJr @kayleighmcenany pic.twitter.com/WPOaZHjMJg
— DoWhatLightsYouUp (@dowhatlightsyou) November 4, 2020
According to ABC15, they received several messages on election day that sharpies were indeed being handed out and those who did use sharpies did not have their ballots counted while those who used ballpoint pens did.
Maricopa county gave instructions saying that using sharpies were fine so long as red-ink wasn’t used. Election officials also confirmed that your ballot will still be counted even if the ink bleeds through. Any concerns with incorrect marks could be brought up to an official and the voting centers would provide you with a new one.
Maricopa county even released a video discussing the use of sharpies.
Did you know we use Sharpies in the Vote Centers so the ink doesn’t smudge as ballots are counted onsite? New offset columns on the ballots means bleed through won’t impact your vote! Find a location before the polls close at 7 p.m. today at https://t.co/8YEmXbWyRL. pic.twitter.com/KKG2O8rQhf
— Maricopa County Elections Department (@MaricopaVote) November 3, 2020
The odd thing here is that if the sharpie pens were okay to use but ballpoint pens were better, why was one of the people at the polling location yelling at voters to stop passing ballpoint pens around? Why were they adamant that sharpies be used instead?
If sharpie pens are okay to use then why are the votes cast with sharpies being invalidated?
It’s unclear how much of an effect this sharpie problem had but it was definitely pushed on voters with using regular pens resulting in getting yelled at according to the witness.