#Sharpiegate Trending As Maricopa County Voters Report Cancelled Ballots

Candidate for Maricopa County Community College District Board shares an image of a message received by a voter whose ballot was "cancelled" due to ink bleed through on ballot. [Photo via Facebook]

Phoenix – Social media is seeing #sharpiegate trending as Maricopa County voters are sharing their experiences at the polls on Tuesday due to the fact that they were forced to use Sharpie brand-type markers to complete their ballots. The use of markers caused many ballots to be set aside when tabulating machines rejected them due to the bleed through of the ink.

Voters are reporting the same issue in mostly conservative areas of Maricopa County.

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Arizona House Majority Leader Warren Peterson noted on Twitter that he had been hearing from his constituents that their ballots were “canceled because poll workers gave them sharpies.”

Republican Party activist and elected official, Kathleen Winn, decried the partisan politicization of Maricopa County elections. As an example, Deputy Registrar at the Maricopa County Elections Department Linda Russell Parrino was actively working to promote the Harris/Biden ticket during the 2020 General Election cycle.

Maricopa County Community College Board member Kathleen Winn told the Arizona Daily Independent, “Adrian Fontes has turned what was once a well-regarded office into a political machine. From cross outs, to Sharpies and Fontes’ employees openly advocating for the Biden Harris ticket, what possibly could go wrong? We’ve seen what could go wrong. We must fight for election integrity to be maintained.”

Earlier this year, Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes was sued for his decision to provide instructions to voters to cross out votes cast in error rather than requesting a new ballot. The Arizona Supreme Court sided with attorney Alex Kolodin representing an election integrity group forcing Fontes to remove the instruction.

The Sharpie bleed through issue would have the same effect in that it would force poll workers to discern a voter’s intent.


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While some voters received a message that their ballot had been “cancelled,” others report seeing their ballots being placed in separate container which they believed would force the ballot to be manually processed. According to elections experts, the “cancelled” message might have referred to mail-in ballots the voters had received which were then invalidated when they chose to vote at the polls instead.

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