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Judge orders Trump campaign and Maricopa officials to come up with plan in Sharpie lawsuit

Thomas Liddy, a lawyer for Maricopa County, asked the judge to move swiftly to restore confidence in the system.
Maricopa County elections officials count ballots, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, at the Maricopa...
Maricopa County elections officials count ballots, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, at the Maricopa County Recorder's Office in Phoenix.(AP Photo/Matt York)
Published: Nov. 5, 2020 at 7:46 PM CST
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An Arizona state judge ordered the Trump campaign and Maricopa county officials to propose a joint scheduling plan by Friday morning to handle a dispute over the use of Sharpie pens to fill out ballots.

Judge Margaret Mahoney of the Maricopa County Superior Court dismissed a suggestion by a lawyer for the Trump campaign to postpone legal arguments in the case for more than two weeks – a timeline that a lawyer for the Arizona Democratic Party argued could delay the final vote tally for Arizona, a key battleground state in the presidential contest.

Thomas Liddy, a lawyer for Maricopa County, asked the judge to move swiftly to restore confidence in the system.

“The voters have a right to know that the allegations flying around the internet about Sharpies being dropped from black helicopters to cheat people out of their votes is fake. It’s not true but it’s really scaring people.”

He added that the vendor for the voting machines said that Sharpies are the best pen to use because the ink dries quickly and won’t smudge the glass readers in the tabulation machines.

“All of this, frankly, is a waste of time,” said Liddy.

On Wednesday a lawyer and the Public Interest Legal Foundation filed a lawsuit representing 11 voters – only one is identified by name – against the Maricopa County Recorder, Clerk of Maricopa County and others asking that voters be permitted to observe the counting and adjudication of ballots.

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