As President Donald Trump mounts legal challenges over alleged irregularities in this year’s election, some voters in the critical state of Arizona believe their ballots may have been thrown out.
According to Fox News, the state’s attorney general is investigating whether Maricopa County ballots were invalidated because voters used a Sharpie.
“Hundreds of voter complaints”
Trump is hoping to win Arizona after his early Election Day lead diminished in Michigan and Wisconsin, both of which have since been called for Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
In a letter to Maricopa County election officials, the office of Arizona’s attorney general cited “hundreds” of complaints from voters concerned that their ballots had been tossed out.
“We have received hundreds of voter complaints regarding the use of Sharpie brand markers (‘Sharpies’) to fill out ballots on Election Day at voting centers in Maricopa County,” wrote Deputy Solicitor General Michael S. Catlett.
He went on to note that many voters have expressed concern “that the use of Sharpies may have caused ballots to be rejected, spoiled, or canceled.”
Catlett demanded answers, including the extent to which such markers were used and how many ballots might have been discarded as a result as of Thursday afternoon. Separately, a group of voters filed suit against Maricopa County claiming that their ballots had been improperly rejected.
“A fraud on the American public”
Arizona’s secretary of state, a Democrat, and county election officials have insisted that allegations of possible voter fraud are unfounded.
Maricopa County is the state’s largest and has been among the most closely watched as ballots continue to be counted across Arizona and in various other battleground states.
The traditionally red state was declared a win for Biden in a surprise turn of events — but the president’s campaign believes he can still win the state on a narrowing path to the 270 electoral votes needed to win a second term. With 86% of the ballots counted, Biden leads Trump in Arizona by about 70,000 votes.
Trump and his allies have also claimed a pattern of potential fraud in contested states including Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Georgia.
Nevertheless, the president maintained an optimistic outlook early Wednesday morning, telling supporters: “This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election.”