A video has been uncovered released by Arizona officials last month that instructs voters not to use sharpies when casting their ballots.
Republican voters in Arizona during the election reported that they were forced to use Sharpies instead of ballpoint pens, something that is alleged would result in the ballots being thrown out, with the controversy being labelled “SharpieGate” as a result. National File reported on a viral video from a female voter on her experiences at the voting booth:
“There were two people in front of me that used the Sharpie that was given to them by the poll workers, it did not read their ballot, and they slide it in there twice. I used a pen. I took their Sharpie and threw it away and it read my ballot,” the woman said.
“They had a bowl of pens behind them that they were not giving to people and only giving Sharpies out,” she says as another woman appears to corroborate her story.
What’s more, is the woman in the video says that after posting an account of her troubles voting to a local Facebook chat, more voters described a similar experience, all seeming to revolve around a region surrounding the Town of Gilbert, a heavily Republican area.
“I posted it on my Facebook group chat in my neighborhood, they said they did it at the Queen Creek Library, they did it at ASU Polytech earlier, that like four different polling places were doing Sharpies all in – like between Queen Creek and the edge of Gilbert.”
Now a video has emerged from the official YouTube channel of Pima County, Arizona, with officials telling voters that they should not use sharpies or any permanent markers when casting their ballot. “Use a black or blue ballpoint pen, no sharpies, to fill in the ovals next to your candidates name,” the official in the video says.
National File reported that Arizona State Senator-elect Kelly Townsend confirmed that SharpieGate was now officially under investigation.
Townsend wrote on Facebook that she was informed that the Maricopa County Recorder’s office is “verifying spoiled ballots caused by the Sharpie incident.” She then warned that as of Wednesday night, “the only observers there are Democrats. No Republicans have volunteered to observe.” Townsend then urged voters to contact Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelly Ward to volunteer as observers.
HOLY S**T! @kelliwardaz, WHAT IS GOING ON!?!
GET REPUBLICANS THERE NOW!!!!
This is how we lose AZ! pic.twitter.com/FnDIwz8uvG
— Chief America 1st Trumpster (Maricopa Vote Vet) (@ChiefTrumpster) November 5, 2020
Fact checkers claim that using sharpies does not, however, invalidate ballots despite the investigation into the issue, and the recently discovered advice in the video above.