Tuesday February 5, 2013
Election Commission to safeguard indelible ink
PETALING JAYA: The Election Commission (EC) will ensure the indelible ink to be used during the general election is stored under tight security, said chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusof.
“We are treating it as how Bank Negara would do when transporting money,” he said.
Abdul Aziz said that security and care were crucial when handling the ink to ensure its use would not be discredited by anyone.
“It will be the first time indelible ink is used for the elections and mandatory for voters to be marked before casting their ballots,” he said.
He said the EC would work with the police when transporting the ink for safe-keeping.
Besides security concerns, he said the ink must be kept in a dry cool place away from direct sunlight to ensure it did not dry up.
“We will have to repack the ink before distributing it to the respective state EC prior to balloting day,” he said, adding that the ink had a six-month shelf life.
However, Abdul Aziz refused to reveal the ink's arrival date and where it would be stored before being distributed.
“All I can say is that the EC will need about 90 days to repack and distribute the ink to the states when it arrives prior to the polls,” he said.
Abdul Aziz said that there were 13.4 million registered voters, some 200,000 advance voters, or 10,000 overseas voters and some 1,000 overseas students who would be eligible to vote.
“We are using different coloured ink to differentiate between normal voters and advance voters.”
He said a bottle of ink would be able to mark the fingers of about 100 voters.
Last Wednesday, Abdul Aziz confirmed that the EC had placed the order for the ink which would take the supplier about two months to produce the quantity needed for the polls.
In 2007, the EC decided to implement the use of indelible ink but did not do so in the 12th general election four days before polling day.