Arizona voters fear ballots weren’t counted because they used Sharpies

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Election officials on Wednesday calmed nervous Arizona voters who feared their votes weren’t counted because they used Sharpie markers to fill in ballots.

Sharpies were handed out at some poll locations, including ones in the Phoenix area, sparking concerns on social media that the markers would bleed through paper and not register on vote-counting machines, according to

But Erika Flores, spokesperson for the Maricopa County Elections Department, said three types of writing utensils — blue or black pens and Sharpies — are fine for filling in ballots, the local outlet reported.

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“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!” the Maricopa County Elections Department tweeted.

The county website also notes, “Vote Centers use fine tip sharpies as they have the fastest drying ink, therefore preventing smudges when put through the Vote Center tabulation equipment.”

Kathren Coleman, the former deputy recorder for Maricopa County, said all voters concerned with making incorrect marks on ballots are provided with a new ballot at polling sites, according to the local station ABC15.

The station asked election officials if they have received complaints about Sharpie ballots but hadn’t received a response as of Wednesday afternoon.

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