CHICAGO (CBS) — Of all the things happening on this Election Day, you would never think Sharpies would be causing such confusion.
As CBS 2’s Marie Saavedra found, it’s causing concern for some Chicago voters.
The occasional drunk judge, polling places that open late or long lines. Those are the usual common complaints. This is a new one: Sharpie markers.
And on Tuesday, several viewers reached out to CBS 2 concerned that using one will keep votes from being counted.
Chicagoans voting with paper ballots are used to making their choices with blue or black pen. So when they were handed a Sharpie, it created some worry. On that thin paper, the felt-tipped marker bled right through the page, leading many to wonder whether their ballot would be improperly marked and not accepted.
CBS 2 asked Jim Allen, from the Board of Election Commissioners, about the issue.
“One bleed through on the front will not hit the target on the opposing sides,” Allen said. “So your ballots are designed to anticipate that.”
Still, there are some best practices. Election judges told voters to dab the Sharpie vertically once to stop the bleed through. Any ballots with large inkblots will be reviewed by judges to personally verify who that vote is for.
And lastly, voters can bring and use their own pens if they prefer.
“Overall it’s been a minor problem but it’s been a frequent cause of concern,” Allen said.
Chicago’s Board of Elections said Sharpies and the same type of paper ballots were used in the primaries with no issues reported. Cook County said any ballots marked with a Sharpie will be accepted.
So rest assured, using a Sharpie marker will not affect your vote.
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