On Wednesday, a group of Maricopa County voters filed a lawsuit to sue Democratic County recorder Adrian Fontes, the county Board of Supervisors, and others, Fox News reports.
The suit alleges some of the county’s polling sites allowed voters to use Sharpie permanent markers on ballots, raising the concern that those ballots will not be counted. Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich is looking into the matter with election officials.
Regardless of the type of pen or marker used, Brnovich and officials reassure voters that their vote will be counted. It looks like a rumor was started on social media platforms that have caused the blow-up over sharpies and other ballot writing instruments, but social media mogul Facebook has lessened the misinformation by labeling viral videos shared by top Republicans as “false information.”
The use of the hashtag #sharpiegate has also been banned on the site, Reuters reported.
Maricopa County—which is the largest in the state of Arizona released a statement via Twitter early Thursday, saying markers are “not a problem” for their tabulation equipment, adding that “the offset columns on ballots ensure that bleed-through won’t impact [votes].”
The County Recorder and Elections Department’s website doubled down on their statement by informing the public that ballpoint pens or a sharpie are allowed when filling out ballots. Officials suggest poll sites not use pens that have red or like-colored ink.
“Voters at home may use ballpoint pens in black or blue ink or a Sharpie. Vote Centers use fine-tip Sharpies as they have the fastest drying ink, therefore preventing smudges when put through the Vote Center tabulation equipment,” the Maricopa County Recorder’s “FAQ” page reads.
Attorney Alexander Kolodin represents voter Laurie Aguilera and 10 other undisclosed clients in the suit—that is baseless if the above holds true. Aguilera claims she used a Sharpie on her ballot and “noticed the ink was bleeding through.” She also says when it was time for the machine to read her casted vote, it failed to do so and says she was not given a second or duplicate ballot, making her believe her vote was not a part of this year’s election. Despite the county’s claims that everything is ok, Kolodin and his cohort of clients are convinced their votes did not count and would like to resubmit.
Their case is expected to be heard by a Superior Court Judge Thursday afternoon; the news publication reports. Arizona is at the head of the controversy as we await its final count to come in. It’s typically been considered a red state, but Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has been predicted to win its electoral votes.
Only time will tell, as we sit at the edge of our seats.