Maricopa County Official Known for ‘Sharpiegate’ Donated to Democrat Mark Kelly’s U.S. Senate Campaign

Kelly Dixon, assistant director for the Maricopa County Election Department’s recruitment and training division, who admitted she knew there were “issues and concerns” with voters marking ballots with Sharpies, donated to Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ). She earmarked a $100 contribution to him through a donation she gave to the Democratic campaign fundraising organization ActBlue, Headline USA reported on Monday. 

Maricopa County voters complained about poll workers handing them Sharpies on election day that bled through the ballots. Dixon knew ahead of election day that using sharpies to mark a ballot was an issue. In an email dated October 22, she wrote “Starting tomorrow, 10/23, and through 11/2, we are asking the Clerks hand voters BALLPOINT PENS rather than markers.” However, she then said “We NEED to use markers on Election Day.” She did not explain why. Republicans voted on election day in huge numbers last year, driven by fears of voter fraud. A Gallup survey found that 62% of Democrats said they would vote early last fall, compared to only 28% of Republicans. 

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Sharpie-Gate: Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Addresses Use of Marker for Ballots

Deputy Solicitor General at the Arizona Attorney General’s Office Michael Catlett said in a Nov. 4 letter that their office had received hundreds of complaints about the use of Sharpie markers for ballots at Maricopa County election locations, with people conveying concerns that utilizing the writing implements could have led to the rejection, spoiling or cancellation of ballots.

The letter, sent to Director of Elections Day and Emergency Voting with the Maricopa County Elections Department Scott Jarrett, included questions about issues such as the extent to which Sharpies were supplied and used at voting places, how many ballots were rejected and how many were specifically rejected due to over-votes caused when ink passed through the paper onto the other side of the ballot.

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