Arizona Dems want to join lawsuit over Sharpie

U.S. & World

Maricopa County election officials count ballots for the general election at the Maricopa County Recorders Office, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

The Arizona Democratic Party has asked a court to let it participate in a lawsuit that alleges vote tabulation equipment in metro Phoenix was unable to record a voter’s ballot because she completed it with a county-issued Sharpie pen.

A judge is holding a hearing Thursday in Phoenix in the lawsuit by voter Laurie Aguilera, who also alleged that ink from the marker bled through the back side of her ballot and that poll workers refused her request for a new ballot.

Aguilera is seeking a court order for all Maricopa County voters whose ballots were rejected as a result of using a Sharpie to be given a chance to fix their ballots. She also is asking for such voters to be able to be present while election officials count their ballots.

The Democrats say the lawsuit is based on the unconfirmed account of one voter and her request to monitor ballot processing could throw the processing of ballots in Arizona’s largest county in disarray.

In a court filing, the party says Democratic voters could be disenfranchised if Aguilera and others were able to challenge a voter’s intent in making ballot choices without knowing the applicable standards.

Arizona election officials have said voting with a Sharpie would have no impact on the votes being recorded by a tabulation machine.

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