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Ballots in Illinois marked with Sharpie pens will be counted

The Illinois State Board of Elections said it wants all voters who used Sharpie pens to mark their ballots that their votes were counted

SPRINGFIELD, Ill — If you used a Sharpie pen to cast your ballot in Illinois, it was counted. 

The Illinois State Board of Elections said it wants all voters who used Sharpie pens to mark their ballots that their votes were counted.

The State Board of Elections said it received many calls from voters around the state concerned that their polling places provided them with Sharpie pens to mark their ballots and that this might cause problems with their votes being recorded.

Voters in the city of Chicago and suburban Cook County should be aware that the Cook County Clerk's Office and Chicago Board of Election Commissioners use Dominion Voting Systems equipment for which Sharpie fine-point pens are the recommended ballot marking utensil, the board said.

Polling places using this equipment were supplied with recommended Sharpie pens for voter use.

The State Board of Elections also received calls from voters concerned that ink from the Sharpie pens may have bled through the ballot to cause inadvertent marks on the reverse side. Some of these voters reported they had used traditional felt-tipped Sharpie markers, not the fine-point version recommended for Dominion systems and were concerned about additional risk of bleed-through.

The board said ballots in Illinois are designed so that the "target area" -- the oval to be filled in to mark a vote -- on one side of a ballot does not align with a target area on the reverse side of the ballot. 

If ink were to bleed through to the reverse side of the ballot and produce a mark sufficiently prominent to be detected by the tabulator, the ballot would be returned to the voter for correction.

The state said Illinois' 108 local election authorities conduct extensive testing of all election equipment statewide before every election. 

Election judges are trained in procedures to ensure that ballots rejected by a tabulator can be remade and properly recorded.