News Karnataka
Thursday, March 23 2023

Marker pens to paint voters’ fingers from next election

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Mysuru: From the next election including forthcoming assembly election in the state, based on the quality, marker pens will replace the usage of traditional bottle and brush indelible ink at polling booths which was in use since 1962, said State Commissioner of Election Commission Srinivasachari.

Speaking after visiting Mysuru Paints and Varnish (My Lac) factory here on Friday, he said, “Ink produced in Mysuru is being used in all the elections in the nation. I have come here to know the functioning of the factory and the quality of the ink produced. The ink used in regular markers and the election markers are completely different. Depending upon the quality and operational easiness of the markers, the decision will be taken.”

For Nanjangud and Gundlupet by-elections, Mysuru Paints and Varnish Limited supplied 1100 bottles of indelible ink each measuring 10 ml. From each bottle which cost Rs 142, the ink can be applied to nearly 1500 people. Indelible ink is used to mark voter’s fingers during polling to avoid fraudulent, multiple voting and other malpractices. Once it is applied on the finger, it remains for couple of weeks. Karnataka government undertaking Mysuru Paints and Varnish Limited provides indelible ink to all the states in India and even to 25 foreign countries. In the last Karnataka state assembly election, Mysuru Paints and Varnish supplied 1.50 Lakh indelible ink bottles each measuring 10 ml.

Election commission has tested the marker pen and is happy with the outcome. The laboratory too is happy with its performance and hence in the coming election instead of bottle and brush indelible ink, election commission has decided to use marker pens which is said to be user friendly and also cost effective. The move to go for markers pens was initiated following feedback the EC received from voters that marking done by brushes is not neat. The other reason is that marker pen will be easier to store and transport than the bottle along with a brush.

Each marker pen can be used for nearly 1000 people. Hence after going through the advantage of marker pen, the election commission decided to use marker pen from next election. Already in some of the elections including in Afghanistan marker pens were used and feedback was good. Venkatesh also mentioned that Malaysia, Cambodia and Nepal for their elections, have ordered for indelible ink.

In 1962, election commission in collaboration with Law Ministry, National Physical Laboratory and National Research Development Corporation made an agreement with Mysuru Paints for supply of indelible ink to not only Lok Sabha and assembly elections but also to municipalities, co-operative institutions and organisations that by law, require elections.

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