Voters Reminded to Mark Mail Ballots in Ballpoint Pen

The Registrar of Voters is reminding mail ballot voters to use ballpoint pens when marking their ballots for the Nov. 8 Presidential General Election. Instructions tell voters to use a pen with dark ink to mark their ballots and specifically mention to avoid the color red.  Concerns have come up over the use of felt-tip markers to fill in the ovals next to the various contests. Some markers have ink that bleeds through to the other side of the ballot.

Mail ballots voters are advised:

  • Use ballpoint pens on mail ballots
  • Avoid using markers, especially heavy felt-tipped markers on mail ballots
  • All mail ballots are inspected by Registrar’s staff to ensure ink did not bleed through to the other side

Mail ballot voters who accidentally use a marker that bleeds through and affects the voting bubble of a contest on the ballot’s other side can call the Registrar’s office at (858) 565-5800 and request a new one.

Mail ballots that have already been sent in will be inspected.

Voters who go to the polls are instructed to use the pens that are provided to mark their ballots. If needed, they can also ask poll workers for a new ballot.

For additional information about the election, call (858) 565-5800 or visit www.sdvote.com.

Tom Christensen is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact