Arizona: No truth to GOP claims that Sharpies are invalidating ballots | Jerod MacDonald-Evoy/AZ Mirror
For the first time ever, Arizona voters were given Sharpie permanent markers to mark their ballots at Arizona polls this year, and they have spawned false claims from Republican officials in Arizona and members of the state’s conservative fringe that election officials are using the markers to invalidate votes for Donald Trump and other GOP candidates. Similar claims have been made by prominent people in the national conservative sphere, including Matt Schlapp, the chairman of the American Conservative Union, and Sean Davis, the co-founder of the right-wing Federalist news site. Elected Republicans in Arizona have made similar claims. U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, no stranger to fringe conspiracy theories, called it “voter fraud” and urged Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich to investigate. Rep. Warren Petersen, the GOP leader in the state House of Representatives, alleged that some of his constituents had their votes “cancelled” without explanation and said he referred them to the AG; he later shared a news story alleging malfeasance with the Sharpies. And state Rep. Bret Roberts said anyone who used a Sharpie to mark their ballots should ensure it was counted. … “To me it smacks of grandstanding and politics,” former state Elections Director Amy Chan said, adding that she is concerned the AG’s request is also coming from a place of fundamental misunderstanding, as voters have for years been told that Sharpies and similar markers were not to be used on ballots because the old machines couldn’t read them.