Sharpie ballots in Arizona discarded?

 Red States:


 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.

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.

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?


With a close race, these ballots could make a difference and there is really no reason not to count them.  It is possible that the machine readers do not pick up the Sharpy markings, but there is still no reason not to hand count them.  I suspect there will be litigation on the issue.


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