Daily Mirror - Print Edition

Is indelible ink mark on voter’s finger still needed?

27 May 2024 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      

  • It is used to prevent multiple voting by leaving a visible mark on the voter’s finger

By Kelum Bandara   

Further relevance of marking a voter’s finger with indelible  ink is now questioned as the production of a valid identity card for  casting ballots is mandatory.  

Indelible ink leaves a colour on a voter’s finger, and it  cannot be erased. It has been introduced to avoid the mischief of  multiple voting.  

Former Election Commission’s Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya  who commented on this matter said its validity is now questioned since  multiple voting by a single voter is now practically impossible with the  mandatory requirement of producing a valid identity card. 

 He said a separate official is assigned to mark voter’s  finger at every polling station, and money spent on the whole process can be  saved if the current requirement is scrapped.   

However, he said the election authorities, sometimes, find  it too difficult to have a check on multiple voting in polling stations  with a large number of registered votes.  

“If it is a polling station with less than 1,000 votes, we  can scrap it. In polling stations with more voters, polling queues move  fast. Then it is difficult to monitor voters for multiple voting  without indelible ink,” he said.   Asked for a comment, the current chairman of the Election  Commission R. M. A. L. Ratnayake said though it is possible to do away  with indelible ink, it cannot be done this time since legal amendments  are not in effect.   “We will use indelible ink at the elections pending this year,” he said.