Election administrator clears pen color confusion on absentee ballots

Updated: Jul. 23, 2020 at 10:56 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Thousands of Shelby County voters have requested absentee ballots for the August 6th primary.

Now there are questions about filling out the ballot like, does it matter what color ink pen you use?

The instruction page says you can use a blue or black ink pen to fill out your ballot.

However, the actual ballot says you can only use a black pen.

So voters are wondering if they used a blue pen will their absentee ballots count?

Shelby County Election Administrator Linda Phillips says you can use either color ink pen.

The commission’s machines can process both colors.

“But it really doesn’t matter whether they use blue or black. Either one. I don’t know why the ballot says black only, because any dark ink works. Pencil doesn’t work and red doesn’t work very well,” said Phillips.

Phillips says the instruction sheet is being updated and reprinted.

Make sure to fill in the oval next to a candidate’s name completely, and leave no stray marks or writing on your ballot.

So far, 15,000 absentee ballot applications have been submitted and 13,000 have been mailed out.

The last day to request one is July 30.

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