San Diego Registrar of Voters: Using a Sharpie does not disqualify a ballot

2020 California Primary ballots
Posted at 2:36 PM, Nov 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-05 20:11:10-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego's Registrar of Voters addressed worries over ballots that may have been filled out using Sharpies, saying the ballots will not be disqualified.

Wednesday, an attorney working for President Donald Trump's campaign claimed supporters who used Sharpies on their ballots are worried that their votes are being thrown out as Arizona's vote tally continued.

There's no evidence that Sharpie votes have been disqualified and the Maricopa County Elections Department has said that ballots won't be impacted because a Sharpie was used.

RELATED: 'Sharpie ballots' have the attention of a Trump campaign hoping to flip Arizona

Thursday, the San Diego Registrar of Voters offered a similar statement, saying Sharpies — even if they bleed through the ballot — will not disqualify votes. Part of this is because ballots are printed in an off-set pattern, meaning "bubbles" for races and measures do not overlap on each side of a ballot.

"Regardless, using a Sharpie does not invalidate the ballot. 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 any 'bubbles' on the opposite side," the Registrar said.

The county added that polling locations do not provide Sharpies and instead use "archival pens," which were identified to be the best writing instrument more than a decade ago.

"In San Diego County, we do not provide Sharpies to voters to mark their ballot. 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," according to the Registrar.

As of Thursday afternoon, the county has recorded more than 1.2 million ballots and had about 370,000 left to process. An update on results is expected at 5 p.m. Thursday.