Republicans hunting for votes in Arizona have become fixated on ballots that were marked with felt-tipped pens, alleging that poll workers tricked Trump supporters into invalidating their ballots by giving them Sharpies. But election officials in the state say that ballots marked with felt-tipped pens—a favorite writing implement of the president—will still count. The pen controversy appears to have started late on Election Day, with videos and pictures of Arizona voters alleging that poll workers duped them into using the markers. The claim has been embraced by pro-Trump student group Students for Trump, while pro-Trump DJ duo “Milk n Cooks” tweeted at Trump to “ask about the sharpies!!!”
“Apparently the use of sharpie pens in gop precincts is causing ballots to be invalidated,” American Conservative Union president Matt Schlapp posted on Twitter. But Arizona officials, including the state’s secretary of state and an election spokesperson in Maricopa County, say ballots marked with felt-tipped pens can still be read by the tabulation machines. “The felt-tip pen ballot controversy burning through social media is false,” Pima County officials in Arizona tweeted Wednesday.