REGION — The San Diego County Registrar of Voters attempted to ease concerns over ballot counting today by releasing a statement regarding Sharpie markers.
Using a Sharpie on a San Diego County ballot does not invalidate it, although the county offers another kind of pen at in-person voting locations.
“In San Diego County, we do not provide Sharpies to voters to mark their ballot,” the registrar’s statement reads. “What we use are archival pens, which we researched over 10 years ago as the best marking instrument for a voter. The ink in the archival pen actually helps in preventing bleed-through of the ballot while ensuring the “bubble” is clearly marked.”
A theory has arisen in the last 48 hours — particularly in Arizona, where the Presidential race is extremely tight — that ballots marked with Sharpies are being invalidated. Some social media users in Arizona are decrying the use of Sharpies as invalidating in-person votes, which have broken largely for President Donald Trump over his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.
According to the Maricopa County Elections Department, Sharpies are used at some polling places because they provide the fastest drying ink. Election officials there said machines would have no problem reading a Sharpie-marked ballot, and theories to the contrary are baseless.
The San Diego County Registrar of Voters offered a similar sentiment.
“Using a Sharpie does not invalidate the ballot,” the office’s statement read. “Our voting system prevents a situation where if a voter uses a Sharpie to vote and it bleeds through to the other side, it will not impact, and `bubbles’ on the opposite side.”
The county has recorded more than 1.2 million ballots with an estimated 370,000 left to be processed. An update will come at or after 5 p.m. Thursday night.