FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 4, 2020
Douglas R. Smith
Erie, PA – Erie County Board of Elections Chairman Carl Anderson III issued the following statement after reports circulated around social media that the use of Sharpies on ballots in Arizona, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio led to uncounted votes. Many Erie County voters used sharpies in yesterday’s General Election to fill in their ballot.
Anderson said: “Black marker is the preferred device to complete a paper ballot in Erie County according to our election system vender Dominion Voting. The reason is the speed at which the ink dries. Wet ink clogs the sensors that photograph scanned ballots. Sharpies are the premium alcohol-based marker — they dry quickly and thereby enhance the function of the ballot scanners.”
Every legally cast ballot in in Erie County will be counted. Even the use of blue pen or blue marker does not cause a ballot to be set aside. The use of black is simply a guideline that will promote consistency among voters and provide the scanning technology the clearest image.