Fox News personalities have continued to promote a debunked theory about voting trouble in the swing state of Arizona — where Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden currently holds a narrow lead in the ongoing vote count — involving the use of Sharpie pens for marking the ballots.
The story, which has circulated on social media platforms, says that the scanner machines would fail to read the markers properly. However, this is simply not true. The Arizona Republic learned that not only can the machines read Sharpie ink just fine, but the ink dries quicker and thus prevents smudging as the ballots are fed into the scanners.
The Maricopa County Elections Department released a statement that Sharpies were distributed at all in-person voting locations in the county, which is home to more than half the population of the entire state. The state’s Republican attorney general has also looked into this in response to public complaints, and posted a statement on Twitter to clear it up:
But none of that stopped Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo from promoting a lawsuit filed in the county, from a voter claiming they were unable to vote because of the markers. Bartiromo also interviewed one of the attorneys on the case — longtime voting conspiracy theorist J. Christan Adams.
After briefly talking about the Sharpie case itself, Adams segued to discuss the supposed “mail-ballot chaos” and claimed that “ballots seem to be growing like mushrooms overnight” in the other swing states of Michigan and Pennsylvania. Bartiromo and Adams also talked about an opposition research dossier against Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
On Thursday night, Fox News host Laura Ingraham brought on an Arizona voter who claimed that she and her neighbors were affected by this issue. Ingraham then falsely claimed: “And we understand that Democrats were given actual pens, the other writing instruments that are allowed under the state law. That just seems really bizarre. I mean, is it a coincidence?”
One thing that’s definitely not a coincidence: a debunked story still getting traction on Fox News.