Felt-tip pens pose problem on ballot

Ink can bleed through and indicate no on Measure K
Posted at 9:38 PM, Oct 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-20 00:38:52-04

With all of the issues on the ballot this year, who you end up voting for could come down to your choice of pen. 

If you use a felt-tip pen on the ballot and mark 'yes' on measure e, you might inadvertently vote 'no' on measure k if the ink bleeds through. 

Kaia Los Huertos can't believe she needs a new ballot because of her pen choice. 

"I think its absolutely ridiculous." Los Huertos said. "It was just an inky pen and it bled right through."

She supports measure k - which would require all election processes for elected city offices to consist of a primary election in June and a runoff election in November for the top two candidates. 

Right now, the candidate who wins the majority in June wins the office outright with NO runoff in November. 

"I looked into the numbers and like half the number of people vote in primaries." Los Huertos said. "I don't think that's fair or right that were electing people in San Diego in June when half the number of people are voting."

Los Huertos wanted the county to send a written warning to voters about the "bleed through" issue. Instead, proponents of measure k held a press conference calling attention to the ballot debacle. 

Even Councilman David Alvarez, who fought to get measure k on the ballot, says he could have succumbed to the pen problem. 

“Your vote could get invalidated by a machine if you’re not careful and so any little marking could trigger the machine to mark invalid vote on measure k so you just have to be very careful,” Alvarez said.

He and other supporters of measure k are calling on all voters to be particular about their pens.
If your ballot is already busted, you can go to the county registrar's office and get a new one like Los Huertos did Wednesday.

Registrar Michael Vu says he and his team will manually check every single ballot and make sure that every ‘no’ on measure k is intentional. He also said it’s standard to look at each ballot, every year.