PHOENIX — The Arizona primary election is just a week away. Here are three things to know:
'Sharpies are out'
Remember the Sharpie conspiracy theory that went viral in Maricopa County after the 2020 election?
It won't happen again in 2022.
The county has switched to a new pen for voters to mark in-person ballots.
"Sharpies are out. Pentels are in," Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer said Monday.
The county has ordered about 4,000 Pentel brand felt-tip pens for voters who fill out ballots at the county's Vote Centers.
The Pentels don't bleed through the new, heavier-stock ballot paper the way Sharpies did, Richer said. And the ink dries quickly, so ballot-counting equipment won't get gummed up.
"Use the pen that's that's given to you," Richer said. "You don't have to worry about bringing a pen. It's easy that way."
Just hours after the polls closed in 2020, "Sharpiegate" blew up on social media. Trump voters were convinced their ballots were thrown out because the Sharpie they used - at the county's urging - had bled through to the races on the other side of the ballot.
A lawsuit went nowhere. Even Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich said there was nothing to the conspiracy theory.
Tuesday deadline for early ballots
There's an important deadline coming up on Tuesday: It's the recommended date to mail in your early ballot so the post office returns it to Maricopa County's Elections Department by Primary day Aug. 2.
If you want to hold on to your early ballot a little longer, you can also drop it off at any one of the 55 vote centers that will be open countywide this week; the 40 that will be open on Saturday; or the 211 that will be open by primary day.
Registered independent voters can request a party ballot at any Vote Center.
All voters must bring ID.
"No matter where in Maricopa County you live, no matter where in Maricopa County you are registered, you can vote at any one of these in Maricopa County," Richer said.
You can find a Vote Center close to you by clicking here.
You can track your early ballot, from the moment it's received by the county until your signature is verified, by clicking here.
Still recruiting election workers
With the primary a week away, the county is still recruiting elections workers.
"We do need some more help with the warehouse and with truck drivers," he said.
Warehouse jobs pay $19 an hour, with the possibility of a bonus of either $1,000 or $1,750. If you work a certain number of hours, and all that's available on that website get involved at Maricopa dot vote.
"Nothing to panic about," Richer said.
If the election were held today, it would run seamlessly, he said.
The extra workers provide a layer of protection.
"We would just have a few fewer people at some of these locations than we would ideally like," he said.
"The name of the game is redundancies at all these steps... in case something goes wrong.
You can get jobs information here.
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