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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NEC stands behind Election Day ink

A screen grab posted Friday night by election watchdog Comfrel shows voter ink being removed from a finger using a simple solution.
A screen grab posted Friday night by election watchdog Comfrel shows voter ink being removed from a finger using a simple solution.

NEC stands behind Election Day ink

Seeking to allay concerns over the quality of the indelible ink used to identify those who have cast their ballots, National Election Committee officials this evening insisted the semi-permanent stain worked correctly.

The announcement came after a video was released in which a staffer for election watchdog Comfrel can be seen scrubbing the ink completely from his forefinger in just minutes using a simple solution. The clip quickly went viral on social media, drawing outrage from voters.

At a televised press conference held Saturday evening, NEC chairman Im Suosdey, told reporters the election ink — in which voters dip their fingers after casting a ballot — was set by exposure to sunlight and could not be wiped off once a voter stepped outside.

“There was also a concern about the ink, that it would be cleaned from the fingers; that is not true,” he said, at a scheduled conference that touched on a number of issues. “It is 100 per cent certain that the ink would not be able to be removed [after a vote], because when the ink is exposed to [sun]light, it is set at good quality.”

Suosdey also stressed that the silver nitrate solution was only one way to prevent double voting, and said NEC had numerous safeguards in place.

The Indian government last month donated 40,000 bottles of the ink, which is meant to last days before slowly wearing off.

During the Malaysian elections in May, whose results were hotly contested, similar demonstrations showing how easily voters removed the so-called indelible ink went viral, causing a minor uproar.

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