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Arizona secretary of state says alleged voter Sharpie problems a 'nonissue'

Arizona secretary of state says alleged voter Sharpie problems a 'nonissue'
© Greg Nash

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) responded to claims that ballots in her state were filled out in Sharpie and are therefore illegitimate, saying that it does not currently pose an issue.

"This is absolutely a nonissue. Election workers are not going to give voters pens that would intentionally invalidate their ballot," Hobbs told CBS News. "Every single validly-cast ballot, regardless of the pen you used, is going to be counted."

Speculation surrounding the ballots began after the claim was made in a viral video on Facebook.

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“What they’re doing is they’re telling people to use the Sharpies, that way, those votes aren’t counted. … They’re doing it because they’re trying to skew all of the votes in there. … So, people are coming here to vote for Donald TrumpDonald Trump Pence said he's 'proud' Congress certified Biden's win on Jan. 6 Americans put the most trust in their doctor for COVID-19 information: poll OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Biden administration to evacuate Afghans who helped US l Serious differences remain between US and Iran on nuclear talks l US, Turkish officials meet to discuss security plans for Afghan airport MORE and those votes are all getting invalidated,” a person said in the video.

Some Arizona voters have filed a lawsuit against Democratic County Recorder Adrian Fontes, the county Board of Supervisors and other officials of Maricopa County, Ariz., alleging that Sharpies were given to voters and damaged ballots due to the marker bleeding through, according to Fox News.

The state's Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich also called for an investigation into the use of Sharpies in a tweet.

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"We have received hundreds of voter complaints regarding Sharpies at polling locations. Accordingly, we sent this letter to Maricopa County election officials. Let's get some answers," he tweeted including a link to the letter.

Maricopa County recently responded to claims in a tweet.

"Sharpies are not a problem for our tabulation equipment, and the offset columns on ballots ensure that bleed through won’t impact your vote," the tweet states.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency tweeted on Thursday condemning what has been referred to as "Sharpiegate."

Maricopa County Recorder's Office reiterates this on its FAQ page, advising voters to use black or blue pen as well as Sharpie in order for their ballots to be accurately tabulated. They are only asked not to use red or red-adjacent ink, according to the page.

The Associated Press called the presidential race in Arizona for Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe Biden Pence said he's 'proud' Congress certified Biden's win on Jan. 6 Americans put the most trust in their doctor for COVID-19 information: poll US to give Afghanistan 3M doses of J&J vaccine MORE on Wednesday morning. However ballots are still being counted in the state. The Biden campaign has called victory "imminent."