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Published: Tuesday April 30, 2013 MYT 7:24:00 PM
Updated: Tuesday April 30, 2013 MYT 9:32:31 PM

GE13: However you clean, some ink will still be visible, says EC

Two police officers showing their fingers with the indelible ink after voting in Batu Pahat Two police officers showing their fingers with the indelible ink after voting in Batu Pahat

KUALA TERENGGANU: The Election Commission (EC) has again given the assurance that the indelible ink to be marked on the finger of voters this Sunday cannot be completely washed off.

No matter how hard one tries to remove the stain on their finger, there will still be a bit visible on the skin, said deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar.

“I am confident it is not possible to wash off the ink stain 100%. The ink is made of silver nitrate. Maybe one can scrape off the ink on their fingernail but the skin around the nail will still show a bit of ink,” he told reporters.

“Clerks at the polling centres are equipped with magnifying glasses and they will check all the fingers of the voter before allowing the person to vote,” he added.

Even if someone managed to remove the ink, he said, it would still be impossible for that person to vote twice because the electoral roll would show that the person had already voted.

“Once a person votes, the name will be struck off the electoral roll. So there is no way anyone can vote twice,” said Wan Ahmad, who was here to oversee the advanced voting process.

He was responding to claims over the internet that some early voters could wash off the ink from their finger.

Wan Ahmad said he observed that some voters had tried to clean their fingers with tissue paper immediately after the ink was applied.

“This may wipe off some of the ink because it is not completely dried. I propose that on May 5, the EC will not provide tissue paper at the polling centres,” he said.

Meanwhile, in KUALA LUMPUR, police have confirmed that the ink was really indelible, Bernama reports.

"I have washed my hands many times, but the indelible ink mark on my finger is still there," Police Training Centre (Pulapol) commandant SAC Zulkifli Mohamed said.

He was refuting claims that the indelible ink used to mark police personnel during early voting Tuesday for the May 5 polls could be washed off easily.

Reporters and photographers requested several police personnel to wash their hands but the ink in the colour of the red saga seed remained visible on their left index finger.

Zulkifli said he did not receive any complaints from the 2,036 police personnel who voted Tuesday.

PKR vice-president Tian Chua had lodged a report at the Jinjang police station Tuesday, claiming that the indelible ink was not permanent.

The police report was made following reports on news portals that the indelible ink that was supposed to remain on the finger for at least seven days was washed off with water after several hours by a soldier.

Indelible ink is being used for the first time in this general election.

EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusof said the matter of the so-called washable indelible ink would be left to the police to deal with now that a report had been lodged.

Assistant head of the IGP secretariat (Public Relations) ACP Ramli Mohamed Yusoof said the police would conduct an investigation.

For more election stories, please visit The Star's GE13 site

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