Sharpies on ballots in Arizona cause concern for some voters

Sharpies on ballots cause concern for some voters in Arizona
Posted at 11:05 AM, Nov 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-04 13:11:37-05

Several voters have expressed concern that the marker used to fill out their ballots may have caused them difficulty voting in this year's election.

KGUN9's sister station ABC15 received several messages on Election Day and into Wednesday that many polling places offered Sharpies to those voting in person. However, there were reports that some Sharpie-filled ballots were not counted, while others who used ballpoint pen had no issues.

According to the Maricopa County Recorder's website, "voters at home may use ballpoint pen in black or blue ink or a sharpie." The only warning was against "red and red-adjacent ink."

The website also stated that "Vote Centers use fine tip sharpies as they have the fastest drying ink, therefore preventing smudges when put through the Vote Center tabulation equipment."

ABC15's Nicole Valdes spoke with election officials before the election and learned that even if ink bleeds through your ballot, it will not impact the count. Kathren Coleman, the former deputy recorder for Maricopa County, said if you had any concerns or made any incorrect marks, voting centers would have provided you with a new ballot.

Pima County also spoke on this issue Wednesday.

"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," the county said.