PALM BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 03: President Donald Trump tosses a sharpie pen that he was using for autographs back to the group that greeted him after arriving on Air Force One at the Palm Beach International Airport for a visit to his Mar-a-Lago Resort for the weekend on February 3, 2017 in Palm Beach, Florida. President Donald Trump is on his first visit to Palm Beach since his inauguration. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

What Is Sharpiegate, And Why You’re Nuts If You Buy Into It

They’re trying, God bless ‘em. They’re really trying hard. Trump supporters know that the walls of Jericho are about to come crumbling down and they are literally clinging to any excuse they can to continue to live in their upper-middle class, suburban state of denial. From claiming more votes are being counted than there are people voting, to the even more laughable claim that poll workers should (or should not, in some states) “stop the count” because not all votes should be counted, Trumpers, and Trump himself, are doing everything they can to keep up the façade that their president is anything but a narcissistic, tantrum-throwing whiny, baby bitch. Sharpiegate is just another example of this.

For those unaware, some social media users are (falsely) claiming that ballots are being invalidated because voters were given Sharpie markers to use, instead of pens. Their belief (and don’t ask us where it came from, because we literally have no idea) is that Sharpies that were given to voters by Arizona election officials don’t actually show up in ballot-counting, thus making their ballots (which, presumably, were voting for Donald Trump?) invalid. Trumpers said that votes were eliminated in Arizona because people were made to use Sharpie pens to mark their ballots, which caused the tabulation machine to cancel their vote.

So, a few things here. The first point to make is that, yes, voters in Maricopa County were given Sharpies to fill in ballots. Shocking, right? The only problem is, it doesn’t fucking matter. Officials from the Maricopa County Elections Department put out a tweet (because that’s how we all communicate now) stating that voting centers use Sharpies so that ink doesn’t smudge when ballots are counted. Clint Hickman, the Republican chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors actually published a letter urging voters to ignore misinformation.

“Sharpies are recommended by the manufacturer because they provide the fastest-drying ink,” the letter stated.

Videos on TikTok (the app in which #pizzagate first rose to prominence…Google it, kids) discussing Sharpiegate were shared thousands of times by people whose only source of information comes from, well, TikTok. Facebook ended up blocking the hashtag after getting fact-checked by outside fact checkers, including members of the Associated Press.

Now, listen. We’ll entertain the idiots who want to argue about voter fraud, voter repression, and so-on. It kind of comes with the territory when it comes to elections. But please, for the love of God, believe us when we say the type of ink you use on a ballot has no bearing on whether said ballot is accepted or rejected by a machine. Our biggest question about Sharpiegate is this: who was the first person to say that writing utensils were in on the fix to remove Trump from office, and how many Sharpies has he or she been sniffing?

Cover Photo: Joe Raedle

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