With 86 percent of the vote reported, former Vice President Joe Biden appears to be on his way to securing the first victory by a Democratic presidential candidate in Arizona since 1992, as he leads President Donald Trump by a 51 percent to 47.6 percent margin, according to The New York Times. The apparent shift in the state’s politics is not sitting well with some Trump supporters, with lobbyist and Fox News political contributor Matt Schlapp alleging that precincts in solidly red areas were targeted with a subtle measure that would invalidate voter ballots.
“AZ update: apparently the use of sharpie pens in gop precincts is causing ballots to be invalidated. Could be huge numbers of mostly Trump supporters. More to come,” Schlapp wrote in the tweet.
He also provided a link Arizona voters could follow in order to check the status of their votes.
Schlapp followed his original tweet by calling on Katie Hobbs, the Secretary of State for Arizona, to publish a list of all the registered voters who voted on Election Day in the state to ensure that those who partook know if their vote counted.
Hobbs did respond to the rumors and disputed the lobbyist’s claim, saying that ballots filled out with a sharpie would be accepted and any rumors otherwise were false, as reported by FOX 10 in Phoenix.
She explained that while a standard black or blue pen was preferable, a sharpie was fine. There were no issues caused by ink bleeding through the ballot, as they used offset bubble columns that would prevent any confusion.
The official Twitter account of Pinal County, Arizona, also disputed the claim, tweeting that all precincts have official voter pens provided. They also shared a picture of an example pen.
The Offical Voter Pens that were used at Pinal County Polling Places yesterday ???? pic.twitter.com/Ear8X7b5Ns
— Pinal County AZ ???? (@PinalCounty) November 4, 2020
In the replies to Schlapp’s tweet, several of his followers gave their accounts of voting in Arizona. However, the Arizona Voter Information Portal does not provide the status of votes cast in person, only those by mail or early ballots.
While Schlapp’s tweet received support from some of his followers, others were not fans of the false information he was spreading.
“Stop lying, you hack. You utter, absolute hack,” Kyle Griffin, the senior producer of MSNBC’s The Last Word tweeted.
“Leave it to Matt and Mercedes Schlapp to sink their parasitic fangs into anything they can lie about,” replied Gailen David, also a television producer, in a tweet.
Schlapp quote tweeted Griffin and offered his own response.
“Kyle you spent 4 years trying to take Trump out and you told us Biden had it sewn up. You lied pervasively. Now people like me have to raise issues bc you won’t do yours,” he wrote.