The use of a Sharpie pen to mark a ballot does not void the ballot. The County’s voting system vendor recommends the use of Sharpie pens for marking ballots because the high-speed ballot scanners read the ink better. Also, the ink dries fast.

Ballot scanners only read marks in the oval voting target areas of the ballots. The ovals on one side of a ballot card do NOT align with the ovals on the other side of the card, so – if bleed-through occurs – it is not read by the ballot scanner.

However, voters are not required to use a Sharpie to mark their ballot. Blue or black ballpoint pens are available for use at the polls.