Free Press Journal

Indelible ink mark on voter’s forefinger to be bigger


New Delhi: Now the proof that you have voted is set to get bigger and bolder. Amid complaints that the indelible or ‘voter’ ink is not being applied properly by poll officials, Election Commission has issued orders saying the ink should be applied using a brush specifically provided for the purpose.

The recent order makes it clear that the ink “will be applied on voter’s finger with the help of brush from top of the nail to the bottom of the first joint of the left forefinger”.

Use of brush will ensure that besides being bigger, the ink mark will also be bolder and more prominent. The EC said the polling official in-charge of the ‘control unit’ (of electronic voting machine) “shall ensure that mark of the indelible ink is intact on the finger of electors, before pressing the ballot button of control unit”.

The poll watchdog said it is issuing the order as during the recent elections, certain reports regarding “improper application” of indelible ink have been received by the Commission.

“A copy of this instruction may be sent to all district election officers and returning officers. This instruction may also be brought to the notice of all presiding officers and polling officers during trainings for strict compliance. A copy of this instruction shall be kept in the kit of presiding officer given to him while leaving for poll duty,” the Commission said.

There have been complaints that poll officials use match sticks instead of a brush to apply ink. The ink is barely visible and often leads to allegations that people have tried to remove it in a bid to cast vote again.

The EC has also asked the Managing Director of Mysore Paints and Varnish Ltd to ensure supply of brushes along with the indelible ink supplied to states and UTs with “immediate effect”.

A Karnataka government undertaking, Mysore Paints provides the famous indelible ink for voters to all states in India and even some foreign countries. Indelible ink is used to mark voters’ finger during elections to avoid fraudulent, multiple voting and malpractices.

Once it is applied on the finger, it remains for few months, the company has claimed amid reports that people have been able to remove it soon after it is applied.

In 1962, the Election Commission in collaboration with the Law Ministry, the National Physical Laboratory and National Research Development Corporation made an agreement with Mysore Paints for supplying the ink for Lok Sabha and assembly elections. Beginning with 1962 general elections, it has been supplying indelible ink for elections in India.