By Chris Walker, Truthout
A group of at least 200 Trump supporters, many of them armed, gathered outside an elections center in Arizona on Wednesday night, demanding access to see ballots after a false rumor spread online alleging that their votes weren’t being counted.
The group congregated outside the Maricopa County Elections Department after social media posts shared on Tuesday night said that voters who had used Sharpie pens to mark their ballots in the election wouldn’t have their votes counted. The false rumor, known as “Sharpitegate,” was likely compounded and given undue legitimacy after Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Arizona) retweeted it to his followers.
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has issued a statement assuring voters that their votes did indeed count if they used Sharpie pens to cast their ballots.
According to the Phoenix New Times, right-wing “fringe elements” were part of the protest group. Jennifer Harrison, the leader of a far right hate group called AZ Patriots, spoke to the group about how she was removed from being an elections observer. Noted misogynist and “Pizzagate” supporter Mike Cernovich was also part of the protest.