Presidential polls 2017: EC’s special violet pens being used for casting of votes
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New Delhi: The Election Commission (EC) for the first time is using unique serial numbered special pens with violet ink for casting of votes for the presidential polls that began on Monday.
The special pens are a new initiative by the poll watchdog and are being centrally supplied to make sure that it is the “only instrument” used for marking the ballots. The indelible ink is being procured from Mysore Paints and Varnish Ltd.
“Before entering into voting chamber, one polling staff, will collect personal pen, if any one is possessing and will give EC Special Pen to MPs/MLAs for marking ballot,” a note by the EC read. “When member come out of voting chamber special pen will be taken back by polling staff and would be handed over his/her pen if he/she was carrying,” the note added.
The development comes a year after the controversial Rajya Sabha polls in Haryana. In June last year, 12 votes during the RS polls from the state were marked using the wrong pen and were declared invalid after which the Congress party alleged that the original pen was “replaced”. Following this, a special working group of the EC made recommendations on using a special pen.
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In the presidential polling on Monday, votes cast by any other pen is likely to lead to “invalidation of the vote at the time of counting under Rule 31(1)(d) of Presidential and Vice Presidential Elections Rules 1974”.
The polling for presidential polls began at 10am on Monday and will go on till 5pm. There are a total of 32 polling stations, including one at Parliament House and one each at all the state legislative assemblies. Ballot papers are of two colours—green for MPs and pink for MLAs.
“EC has permitted 14 RS members , 41 LS Members to vote in State legislative Assemblies instead in Parliament in Presidential Elections. Similarly, it has permitted 5 MLAs to exercise their vote in Parliament and 4 MLAs to vote in other State legislative Assemblies,” the note added.