Concerns Over Voting With Sharpies in California

The Gior­dano fam­i­ly in south­ern Cal­i­for­nia went to cast their votes at a local polling sta­tion on Elec­tion Day but said they felt uneasy that poll work­ers made them fill out bal­lots with Sharpie pens instead of ball-point pens, although there were both types of pens avail­able at the poll station.

Scott Gior­dano said he grew con­cerned about the use of Sharpies because he has vot­ed many times through­out his life­time, but has nev­er seen Sharpies used at polling sta­tions pri­or to this election.

Scott’s daugh­ter is a first-time vot­er. She told us that she felt wor­ried while cast­ing her bal­lot. She asked for a pen but the poll work­er gave her a Sharpie instead.

Sim­i­lar con­cerns over Sharpie use at polling sta­tions have also sur­faced in Ari­zona, with many vot­ers say­ing that poll work­ers made them use Sharpies even though the pen bled through the paper.

Elec­tion offi­cials in Arizona’s Mari­co­pa Coun­ty, how­ev­er, have denied the claim that Sharpies inval­i­date votes.


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