Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Arizona Sharpie Pen Claim Misses the Mark on Ballots
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 3 years ago on
November 5, 2020

Share

As states across the U.S. release vote totals for the presidential election, some social media users are falsely claiming that ballots are being invalidated in Arizona. The supposed culprit: Sharpie markers.

In what’s come to be known as #Sharpiegate, social media posts suggest that election officials in Maricopa County provided voters with Sharpie pens, which interfered with ballots being recorded, specifically those for President Donald Trump.

Arizona election officials say that voting with a Sharpie would have no impact on the votes being recorded by tabulation machines, and if there was an issue, there is a process that would keep the ballots from being canceled out.

Here’s a Look at the Facts

CLAIM: Votes were eliminated in Arizona because people were made to use Sharpie pens to mark their ballots. This caused the tabulation machine to cancel the vote.

THE FACTS: As Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was declared the winner of the presidential vote in the Republican stronghold of Arizona, social media posts circulated falsely suggesting that votes for Trump were canceled because people were told to use Sharpies to fill out their ballots.

Arizona election officials confirmed that Sharpies were used in voting, but they said that would not invalidate a ballot. The Maricopa County Elections Department tweeted on Election Day that voting centers use Sharpies so that ink does not smudge when ballots are counted.

“New offset columns on the ballots means bleed through won’t impact your vote!” they tweeted in an informational video.

One video with more than 821,0000 views showed a woman speaking about how four different polling places were using Sharpies and a man asks her if “those ballots are not being counted” and “are invalid.”

“They are invalidating votes is what they are doing,” the man says. He went on to suggest voters use a ballpoint pen instead.

“People are coming here to vote for Donald Trump, and all those votes are getting invalidated,” he says in the video.

Sophia Solis, public information officer for the Arizona Secretary of State, said in an email that votes would not be canceled if there was an issue with the ballot.

A Ballot Review Board Duplicates Ballots That Cannot Be Read by the Machine

“If a voter’s ballot is listed as canceled, it usually means the voter made an additional ballot request if they needed to have their original ballot replaced,” Solis said. “Depending on when they returned their replacement ballot, that ballot is most likely still being processed by the county.”

According to the state’s election procedures manual, a ballot review board duplicates ballots that cannot be read by the machine in cases that they are damaged or smudged with ink.

Videos making the false claim about Sharpies were also widely shared on TikTok. TikTok said the claims on invalidated ballots violated its policy against misleading information around the elections and would be removed. Facebook said it has blocked the Sharpiegate hashtag on its platform and pointed to fact checks on the matter by its outside fact-checkers, including The Associated Press.

While election officials took to social media to debunk the Sharpie rumors, others in Arizona were not convinced.

Republican Congressman Paul Gosar added his voice to the Sharpie claims Wednesday with a tweet that said he was reaching out to the state attorney general’s office.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s office sent a letter to Maricopa County election officials Wednesday demanding answers about which voting centers used the Sharpies and how many votes were rejected because of issues with the Sharpie ink.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Fuzzy Little Adeline Will Purr You to Sleep

DON'T MISS

Boeing’s Financial Woes Continue, While Families of Crash Victims Urge US to Prosecute

DON'T MISS

Police Tangle With Students in Texas and California as Wave of Campus Protest Against Gaza War Grows

DON'T MISS

Meet the Valley Republican Predicting a November Win Over Esmeralda Soria

DON'T MISS

Wired Wednesday: Construction Workers on 2018 Fresno Unified Project Still Not Paid

DON'T MISS

Slumping California Risks Losing World’s ‘5th Largest Economy’ Title

DON'T MISS

Ukraine Uses Long-Range Missiles Secretly Provided by US to Hit Russian-Held Areas, Officials Say

DON'T MISS

Upward Bound: Edison High’s Garcia Headed to Johns Hopkins

DON'T MISS

Boxing Star Ryan Garcia Wants to Meet Netanyahu, Pledges Aid for Gaza Children

DON'T MISS

Fong Won’t Debate Boudreaux, but We Get Hot Topic Answers Anyway

UP NEXT

Fong Won’t Debate Boudreaux, but We Get Hot Topic Answers Anyway

UP NEXT

Ancestry Website to Catalogue Names of Japanese Americans Incarcerated During World War II

UP NEXT

Google Fires More Workers Who Protested Its Deal With Israel

UP NEXT

What Do Supreme Court Justices Say About Homelessness?

UP NEXT

Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson Pledged $10M for Maui Wildfire Survivors. They Gave Much More.

UP NEXT

15 People Injured When Tram Collides With Guardrail at Universal Studios Theme Park

UP NEXT

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

UP NEXT

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

UP NEXT

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

UP NEXT

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

Meet the Valley Republican Predicting a November Win Over Esmeralda Soria

15 hours ago

Wired Wednesday: Construction Workers on 2018 Fresno Unified Project Still Not Paid

16 hours ago

Slumping California Risks Losing World’s ‘5th Largest Economy’ Title

16 hours ago

Ukraine Uses Long-Range Missiles Secretly Provided by US to Hit Russian-Held Areas, Officials Say

18 hours ago

Upward Bound: Edison High’s Garcia Headed to Johns Hopkins

Local Education /

19 hours ago

Boxing Star Ryan Garcia Wants to Meet Netanyahu, Pledges Aid for Gaza Children

19 hours ago

Fong Won’t Debate Boudreaux, but We Get Hot Topic Answers Anyway

20 hours ago

Legislation Pandering to Tribal Casinos Is a Bad Bet for Fresno Cardroom Employees

20 hours ago

About 1 in 4 US Adults Over 50 Say They Expect to Never Retire, an AARP Study Finds

21 hours ago

Biden Signs a $95 Billion War Aid Measure With Assistance for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan

21 hours ago

Fuzzy Little Adeline Will Purr You to Sleep

Beautiful little mama Adeline once had a home, a warm bed and food, people to love her. But her humans failed to have Adeline spayed and whe...
Animals /

3 hours ago

Animals /
3 hours ago

Fuzzy Little Adeline Will Purr You to Sleep

15 hours ago

Boeing’s Financial Woes Continue, While Families of Crash Victims Urge US to Prosecute

15 hours ago

Police Tangle With Students in Texas and California as Wave of Campus Protest Against Gaza War Grows

CA District 27 Assembly candidate Joanna Garcia Rose
15 hours ago

Meet the Valley Republican Predicting a November Win Over Esmeralda Soria

16 hours ago

Wired Wednesday: Construction Workers on 2018 Fresno Unified Project Still Not Paid

16 hours ago

Slumping California Risks Losing World’s ‘5th Largest Economy’ Title

18 hours ago

Ukraine Uses Long-Range Missiles Secretly Provided by US to Hit Russian-Held Areas, Officials Say

Local Education /
19 hours ago

Upward Bound: Edison High’s Garcia Headed to Johns Hopkins

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend