Spl instrument, not pens, valid for voting

New Delhi: MPs and MLAs cannot use their pens and will have to mark their preference in the Presidential poll Monday with a specially-designed writing instrument.
Voting by use of any other pen will be held invalid, the Election Commission said Sunday. The violet ink pen, procured from Mysore Paints that supplies indelible ink to mark voters’ fingers, carries a unique serial number and will be handed over to the voter before they enter the voting chambers in Parliament and state assemblies.
The move – a first by the Election Commission – comes in the wake of a row that erupted in the Rajya Sabha polls in Haryana last year.
Votes of 12 MLAs from the Congress and its allies were declared invalid in September 2016 because they had marked their preferences with a pen other than the one officially supplied by the poll staff.
The special pens are being supplied ‘‘so as to ensure that only instrument supplied by the EC is used for marking the ballot”, an official statement said.
‘‘Before entering (a) voting booth, a polling official will collect personal pens, if anyone is possessing, and will give special pen to MPs and MLAs for marking ballot,’’ the statement said.

Indo-Asian News Service

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