Sharpies Can Be Used on Voting Ballots in Arizona: Officials

Sharpies Can Be Used on Voting Ballots in Arizona: Officials
Voters enter a polling station at Irvine City Hall in Irvine, Calif., on Nov. 2, 2020. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
Jack Phillips

Following speculation on social media, election officials in Arizona said Wednesday that Sharpies can be used on voting ballots in the state.

Erika Flores, spokesperson for the Maricopa County Elections Department, told AZFamily that social media posts saying otherwise are false.

She said that voters can use Sharpies, black pens, or blue pens to fill out their ballots. Officials said that red ink cannot be tabulated by voting equipment.

“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!” Maricopa County officials wrote on Twitter.

It came after some on social media said their ballots weren’t being counted in Maricopa County and other areas.

The Maricopa Elections Department told FOX10 that they tested many pens, ink, markers, and other pens, adding that fine-tip sharpies were the fastest-drying ink.

Pima County officials attempted to downplay the reports.

“The felt-tip pen ballot controversy burning through social media is false. Don’t get caught up in it. Arizona ballot tabulating machines can read ballots marked with a felt tip pen. Felt pens are discouraged because the ink can bleed through,” the office wrote.

Some users on Twitter, however, said their vote was invalidated.

“Thats a lie my ballot was canceled,” wrote one woman to Maricopa County, adding a post: “They canceled my ballot!”

And Pinal County said it does not use Sharpie markers.

“Pinal County DOES NOT provide Sharpies at Polling Places. The County uses Offical Voter Pens. If you voted in Pinal County, the ink does not bleed through the ballot paper,” the office wrote.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump’s campaign projected they have a clear path to victory in Arizona, which has 11 Electoral College votes.

“Thorough breakdown, we believe [the president’s] win margin in AZ will be closer to 30K votes, probably just under that,” Jason Miller wrote on Twitter. “Keep in mind we’re now counting Election Day voters.”

Trump campaign advisory board member Jason Meister told The Epoch Times the campaign is watching several of the states Trump could win, but views Arizona as a clear-cut case.

“What happened is that they called Arizona too early. They said that 96 percent of the vote was in when it was really 86 percent and it was breaking for Trump 60-40,” Meister said. “So if you just do the pure math of the remaining votes, we think that Trump will win.”

On Tuesday night, The Associated Press called the race for Arizona, but that was disputed by Gov. Doug Ducey and state elections officials.

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X:
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