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Since You Asked: Any old pen or pencil will do

I'm confused. I thought I read recently that you could use any kind of pencil or pen on the election ballot. But on the envelope I got with my ballot, it says I need to use a Number 2 pencil. What's going on?

— Bob B., Medford

Jackson County is trying to save a bit of money by using old envelopes, Bob.

According to Kathy Beckett, the county's clerk, you are absolutely correct that you can use any kind of writing instrument to mark your ballot thanks to new scanning equipment.

However, the county ordered quite a few of the secrecy envelopes that tell you to fill them out with a No. 2 pencil. Beckett said you can disregard those instructions and use any kind of pen or pencil that's handy.

"We're trying to use up the old ones before we order the new ones," said Beckett.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; or e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com.