A BASELESS rumor circulated that Arizona poll workers were handing out Sharpies to Trump supporters to invalidate their ballots.
Arizona voting stations were handing out Sharpie pens to voters, but it was made clear by a county board of elections that Sharpie ink was accepted by ballot tabulation equipment.
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What was the rumor about voting day in Arizona?
Allegedly, Arizona polling stations gave out Sharpie pens to Trump supporters as they cast their ballots on election day.
Rumors that Sharpie ink cannot be recognized by polling machine technology angered Trump voters who took to social media to perpetuate the rumor.
"ARE MAIL IN BALLOTS BEING MODIFIED AS WE SPEAK IN CORRUPT DEM DISTRICTS? have you heard about Dems distributing sharpie pens to Trump voters and then invalidating their ballots?" one Republican voter tweeted in outrage on November 4.
"AZ update: apparently the use of sharpie pens in gop precincts is causing ballots to be invalidated. Could be huge numbers of mostly Trump supporters. More to come," tweeted CPAC chairman Matt Schlapp.
"People literally had their votes canceled because they were given a sharpie at the polls. Count those damn votes!" Students for Trump founder Ryan Fournier wrote.
Did poll workers hand out Sharpies?
Fact-checker Snopes declared that the rumor was fake, although Sharpies were handed out.
Poll workers are unable to identify Trump supports on the basis of their looks, and therefore hand out pens to them that may invalidate their vote.
Furthermore, the Maricopa County Elections Department further debunked the allegations when they tweeted:
"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! Find a location before the polls close at 7 pm today at http://Locations.Maricopa.Vote."
Maricopa County put out an explainer video on YouTube 10 days before the election explaining that voters could use Sharpies to mark their ballots and avoid voter panic.
Were ballots with Sharpie ink counted in Arizona?
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs confirmed that ballots with Sharpie ink were being counted in the election.
Appearing on the local news, she said "I can assure voters that nobody in a polling place, a trained, employed, polling place worker, is not going to give you a pen to invalidate your ballot."
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 offered on the site was against the use of “red and red-adjacent ink.”
The website went on to explain 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.”
Due to the thousands of complaints filed, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office said that it would be investigating claims that Sharpie ink invalidates votes.
They said they would would be asking election leaders for more information on rejected ballots and the use of Sharpies at polling stations.
Did Joe Biden win Arizona?
Arizona is one of several states that Joe Biden is in the lead to win in the presidential race.
If Biden manages to take Arizona, it will be the first time in 24 years that the state has turned blue.
Key states where results are still being counted include several battleground states.
These states are still counting due to the pandemic and mail-in voting.
The mail-in ballots, which soared this year as a result of Covid-19, are expected to favor Biden, as his campaign encouraged Democrats to vote early.
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