With Joe Biden holding a narrow lead in the traditionally Republican state of Arizona a day after the elections concluded, conservatives all over the internet have been desperately searching for a conspiracy to explain why President Trump is losing.
They quickly found a pretty wild one: sharpies are to blame.
Republican pundit Matt Schlapp took to Twitter on the morning of Wednesday, November 4, to claim that Arizona ballots were being thrown out because their choices had been filled in using the provided sharpies.
Of course, Schlapp's claim was preemptively debunked last month, but that didn't stop online conservatives from spreading the rumor like wildfire.
AZ update: apparently the use of sharpie pens in gop precincts is causing ballots to be invalidated. Could be huge… https://t.co/voKn5hJD8s— Matt Schlapp (@Matt Schlapp) 1604508713.0
Twitter added a disclaimer to Schlapp's tweet warning users that it contained misleading information.
Of course, all the usual suspects began to insist there was some sort of foul play at work.
Despite the conspiracy theorists' insistence on some sort of scheme, Arizona's Secretary of State took to the airwaves to insist every vote would be counted, including those cast with a sharpie.
Even if a sharpie ballot could not be read by the vote-counting machines, those ballots would then be hand examined by a poll worker.
Here is the Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs saying ballots marked with Sharpie markers will be counted.… https://t.co/xJbOUAKXev— Zachary Petrizzo (@Zachary Petrizzo) 1604511232.0
Can I use a Sharpie on my Ballot? Maricopa County Voters can use a Sharpie to Mark their Ballotwww.youtube.com
But many of these Republican voters didn't seem particularly eager to hear reason.
ARE MAIL IN BALLOTS BEING MODIFIED AS WE SPEAK IN CORRUPT DEM DISTRICTS? have you heard about Dems distributin… https://t.co/GqvYB3dvSk— Michael Savage (@Michael Savage) 1604506726.0
@w_terrence Can confirm that I was handed a thin point sharpie to vote in Chandler, Arizona. Still checking to conf… https://t.co/LFCSYslgSU— Gary Sheffield Jr. (@Gary Sheffield Jr.) 1604508716.0
***ARIZONA BLUE?!???*** There is NO way this State is blue!!! WHY?! THIS!!! I saw this video on Twitter and YES.… https://t.co/hffExkYN3m— DoWhatLightsYouUp (@DoWhatLightsYouUp) 1604479993.0
Some irresponsible individuals even went so far as to draw the entire election into question.
I was given a sharpie to fill in my vote in PA. I have no idea if my vote counted or not.— Mark Lutchman 🇺🇸 (@Mark Lutchman 🇺🇸) 1604509346.0
Some voters were given a sharpie at the polls, which lead to some fearing their votes wouldn't be counted.
I also was given a sharpie pen in Scottsdale, AZ and remembered thinking it was not great that when I flipped my pa… https://t.co/FTX35mCqTU— Alex Clark 🌴🌟🇺🇸💖 (@Alex Clark 🌴🌟🇺🇸💖) 1604510329.0
Fortunately, election officials were on hand to set the record straight for Arizona voters everywhere.
Allegations that Trump votes were tossed in AZ because voters were given Sharpie pens to use are false. Sharpies do… https://t.co/WDKUdOOeoT— Amee Vanderpool (@Amee Vanderpool) 1604539409.0
Arizona Secretary of State just debunked the whole sharpies invalidating ballots rumor. She says even if a marker b… https://t.co/QYTVTy5Yil— Jeremy Diamond (@Jeremy Diamond) 1604527649.0
Online conservatives, usually lead by President Trump, are often passing around conspiracy theories.
But this time, as is almost always the case, there is no factual basis for their claims.