Indelible ink comes off easily after wash

Feb 17, 2012, 09:56 IST | Varun Singh

EC replaces indelible stain from dipping bottles by ink from a marker, which comes off after a wash or two

EC replaces indelible stain from dipping bottles by ink from a marker, which comes off after a wash or two

There were fewer 'flashers' on Mumbai's streets on Thursday than perhaps on any other polling day. That's because the Election Commission (EC) failed to get under the skin of balloters yesterday with its voters' ink.

The age-old indelible stain from dipping bottles that often took months to fully come off had been replaced by a marker. Many voters were surprised to see the ink disappear after a wash or two.

Off the mark: After being inked, when this voter applied thinner on the
stain and washed it with water, the mark completely disappeared.
Pics/Datta Kumbhar

Pravin R, a resident of Andheri, who voted and was inked, used a sanitiser to wash his hands. He was shocked to see the sanitiser liquid turning blue immediately after coming in contact with the finger that had been inked. "I have been voting for a long time now and this never happens. I remember my skin used to come off while trying to get rid of the ink, but this time the stain vanished immediately after I tried washing it with a hand sanitiser," he said.

No stain, no gain!
With the low turnouts that the city is accustomed to, the stain is considered equivalent to a status symbol by many. Another voter Vishwaraj G of Mahalaxmi, used thinner and the voters' mark was gone within seconds.

"Every time I vote, the ink stays on my finger for days. But this time, it just disappeared. Just a wash or two and it was gone."

Many other voters reported the mark coming off after washing their hands with soap.

This is the first time that the election commission has decided to use the marker pen during polls.

Disappearing act
When contacted by MiD DAY, Neela Satyanarayanan, chief election commissioner for the state, said, "The ink is the same that was used earlier. The only difference is that it's being applied with a marker. We had told the officers to apply it twice or thrice so that it doesn't come out easily."

Chand Goel, the additional chief secretary of the election commission, was adamant that the ink applied wasn't vanishing. "We had asked everyone to apply the ink thrice and they are doing it properly. We tried it ourselves and the ink isn't vanishing," he said.

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