Let me preface this article by telling all of my readers: You can use any blue or black ballpoint pen you bring to the voting booth or poll. Do not let anyone there force you or pressure you into using their pen against your wishes.
On Tuesday, The Gateway Pundit reported that SharpieGate 2.0 was perhaps in the making when Maricopa Co Recorder Stephen Richer about faced on his July 7th tweet saying “use any black or blue pen”. He tweeted on July 26th that “we will give ALL voters a special pen at voting locations. PLEASE PLEASE use this pen.” He then states that other pens don’t dry quick enough and can “gunk” the tabulators, requiring cleaning.
🧵Just texted a friend who sent out a message that she will ignore instructions, not use the given pen, and will use a ballpoint blue pen.
Let's call it what it is. She's trying to disrupt the primary.
Just use the darn pen given to you on election day.
— Stephen Richer—MaricopaCountyRecorder (prsnl acct) (@stephen_richer) July 27, 2022
The use of all caps to emphasize “please please” and “all” in his tweet about using the new “special pen” has overtones of desperation. But last night, Richer took his desperation a step further, accusing a “friend” of trying to disrupt the primary and then commanding you to “just use the darn pen given to you on election”.
If the above dialogue actually took place, Richer is accusing a “friend” of trying to disrupt a primary because they are telling folks to bring their own pen. Think about that. I remind you that this is the same county that archived files, removed them off the system, and then failed to hand them over in a subpoena requesting all election records. It’s the same county that brought in a private contractor to “audit” their machines before Cyber Ninjas did. That contractor was also the same company that reportedly “certified” the machines prior to the election. This is just a slight conflict of interest. It’s the same county that query bombed their system with over 30,000 login attempts to clear the login history prior to the Pro V&V “audit” they conducted prior to the senate ordered audit. But a citizen tweeting they’re bringing their own pen to vote? Disruption!
His next tweet in this thread was also disturbing:
“It’s a primary. What the heck do you think we get out of giving people a special pen other than a smooth functioning election? Do you think we’re just asking you to use the Pentel pen to be funny? Good lord people.”
It's a primary. What the heck do you think we get out of giving people a special pen other than a smooth functioning election?
Do you think we're just asking you to use the Pentel pen to be funny?
Good lord people.
— Stephen Richer—Maricopa Cnty Recorder (prsnl acct) (@stephen_richer) July 27, 2022
I’m not sure why the fact that this is a primary election makes it any less important for each vote to count properly. It’s also bizarre to qualify the statement “what the heck do you think we get out of giving people a special pen…?” with “it’s a primary.” As if to say in a general election, sure, perhaps then we’d try some shenanigans, but this is just a primary.
Maricopa voters and Arizonan’s still have a sour taste from the 2020 election when Election Day in-person voters were prompted to use Sharpies to mark their ballots contrary to previous advice.
In 2020, Arizona residents heard that VoteSecure paper was going to be used exclusively and would be resistant to bleed through initially. It wasn’t and it wasn’t. Then we heard that the bleed through wouldn’t overlap with other races. It didn’t. Unless, of course, the timing marks were off.
Speaking of paper, either BOS Chairman Bill Gates or senate liaison Ken Bennett perjured themselves in this congressional hearing:
Are these machines so inherently flawed that they cannot perform the literal job they were designed to do without using a special type of pen that was determined to cause issues in 2012 in neighboring Pima Co? Why isn’t this an issue in any other counties across the country? Are there records of the pen “gunk” causing malfunctions in 2018 or any previous elections in Maricopa?
Yes, SharpieGate was real. Yes, SharpieGate had an impact on the 2020 election in Maricopa.
Bring your own pen, Maricopa.