Election FAQ: What is the Indelible ink?

Ever wonder what the ink that the polling officer puts on your finger before you vote is and why does it not disappear when you try washing it? Here's some info on the famous indelible ink in use during elections across the country, including the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

What is indelible ink?

Indelible Ink, popularly known as 'Voter's Ink', is used to mark the voter's finger during elections to avoid fraudulent, multiple voting and malpractices.

When was it introduced?

In 1962, the ECI in collaboration with the Union Law Ministry, The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and NRDC made an agreement with Mysore Paints and Varnish Limited (MPVL), for supplying this ink for the Parliament, Assembly and other General Elections to all the states in India.

Why is it needed?

To address the challenge of fake voting, the ECI introduced a measure of using Indelible Ink, which is marked on the left-hand nail of the voter. It is not an ordinary ink; Once applied on the finger it cannot be removed by any chemical, detergents or oil and remains for a few months.

Who makes it?

This ink is supplied by the Mysore Paints and Varnish Limited (MPVL), an undertaking of the Government of Karnataka. The MPVL specializes in manufacturing and supplying indelible ink.

The MPVL is the sole authorized supplier of this foolproof ink in India, having an exclusive license granted by the National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) since 1962. I

Where is the ink applied for normal and proxy voters?

Indelible Ink will be applied on the voter's finger with a brush from top of the nail to the bottom of the first joint of the left forefinger. In the case of proxy voting, ink is applied on the middle finger of the left hand of the proxy

Why does the ink not fade?

The ink typically contains silver nitrate which stains the skin on exposure to ultraviolet light (one of the components of sunlight), leaving a mark that is impossible to wash off and is removed over time as fresh skin cells replace the dead ones. The concentration of silver nitrate varies from 7% to 25%.

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Election FAQ: What is the Indelible ink?

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