Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is asking state residents to stop telling her staff to shove Sharpie markers up their butts after a state judge threw out a lawsuit by the Trump campaign which sought to halt ballot counts.
“Dear members of the public: Please stop making harassing & threatening calls to my staff,” Nessel wrote.
“They are kind, hardworking public servants just doing their job. Asking them to shove sharpies in uncomfortable places is never appropriate & is a sad commentary on the state of our nation,” she added.
Dear members of the public: Please stop making harassing & threatening calls to my staff. They are kind, hardworking public servants just doing their job. Asking them to shove sharpies in uncomfortable places is never appropriate & is a sad commentary on the state of our nation.
— Dana Nessel (@dananessel) November 5, 2020
The Trump campaign, as well as the U.S. Senate campaign of GOP businessman and Iraq war veteran John James, have accused Michigan election officials of chicanery after thousands of ballots appeared in the middle of the night early Wednesday following Election Day. Also, the campaigns are outraged that GOP election observers have been allegedly shut out of a ballot counting facility in Detroit after poll workers placed large sheets of cardboard over windows, obscuring the public’s view.
The Sharpie reference is likely tied to allegations of poll irregularities contained in an Arizona lawsuit alleging that ballots marked with the felt-tipped pens were rejected at some voting centers.
In one video posted to social media earlier this week, two women claimed that Sharpie-marked ballots were not being accepted but ballots marked with regular ballpoint pens were at one voting station. The disputed allegation has contributed to the initiation of a lawsuit.
“So, they’re invalidating votes is what they’re doing,” a man off-camera taking the video says.
“Yes,” one woman, also off-camera, responded.
“I used your pen and then I brought it back to you and I said give this to somebody because it works,” a woman on-camera said.
“Yes, yes, and so we know that, and we’ve been telling them, ‘You need to use a ballpoint pen, not the Sharpie,’ and now those are getting invalidated,” said the man.
While establishment media outlets are dismissing ‘Sharpiegate’ claims in Arizona, 11 people have filed a lawsuit alleging election officials in Maricopa County for not “curing” their vote — which means providing a voter with a new ballot if their original one somehow gets spoiled.
The suit’s lead plaintiff, Laurie Aguilera, who is represented by the Public Interest Legal Foundation, is co-joined by 10 others who remained anonymous. It asks the court to order election officials to find and correct any ballots that were not accepted because poll workers required voters to use Sharpie markers when filling out their ballots.
Aguilera said poll workers issued her a Sharpie to mark her ballot on Election Day, according to the suit, despite current state guidance indicating felt-tip markers not be used for ballots.
She said she got concerned when she saw that ink bled through her ballot to the other side, the suit notes, adding that election officials nevertheless told her to feed her ballot into the counting machine.
When the machine repeatedly failed to accept her ballot, the suit states that the attending poll worker canceled Aguilera’s ballot on her request but then would not issue her another one.
“These voters were denied the right to vote. Arizona election officials allegedly were part of the problem, and denial of the right to vote should not occur because of failures in the process of casting a ballot,” said J. Christian Adams, president of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, in a statement.
On Election Day, Maricopa County officials claimed in a video posted to social media that Sharpies are okay to use when marking ballots.
Did you know we use Sharpies in the Vote Centers so the ink doesn’t smudge as ballots are counted onsite? New offset columns on the ballots means bleed through won’t impact your vote! Find a location before the polls close at 7 p.m. today at https://t.co/8YEmXbWyRL. pic.twitter.com/KKG2O8rQhf
— Maricopa County Elections Department (@MaricopaVote) November 3, 2020
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