Ballots Cast With Sharpie Pen Not Invalid, Pennsylvania Officials Say
Allegheny County, Pennsylvania officials and the Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State denied rumors on social media that using a Sharpie pen or any similar black marker on an election ballot could invalidate it.
(1/2) The rumors circulating about the use of Sharpie pens or markers are just that – rumors. While we recommend that voters use blue or black ball point pens, and discourage the use of markers, it’s to prevent the ink from leaking through onto a back side of a ballot.
— Allegheny County (@Allegheny_Co) November 5, 2020
Allegheny County’s released a statement on Twitter saying, “The rumors circulating about the use of Sharpie pens or markers are just that – rumors. While we recommend that voters use blue or black ballpoint pens and discourage the use of markers, it’s to prevent the ink from leaking through onto a backside of a ballot. Your vote WILL BE counted. If the scanner is unable to read the ballot, the scan is tried several more times. If still not successful, the ballot would be recreated and verified during the Return Board process and would then be scanned and counted.”
During a news conference, Kathy Boockvar, Pennsylvania Secretary of State, said that preference of black or blue ink is to help the scanner read the ballots, adding, “If it’s not read by the scanner it will be read by a person.”
Boockvar also claimed that no vote would go uncounted because the use of the wrong sort of writing instrument.