Singapore — The Elections Department said on Tuesday (July 7) that the marks made with self-inking pens on ballot papers will not become invisible.
In a press release, the department said it is aware of circulating news that the ink “will become invisible after several minutes” but it assures voters that this is false information.
The way the pen works is by allowing voters to put pressure on their ballot paper, which will then mark an “X”.
The department said: “The marks made using the self-inking pens are permanent. In fact, the ink is oil-based, and water and temperature resistant. Similar pens have also been used in elections in other countries, including the Republic of Korea.”
It also explained that the ballot papers are no different from those in past elections, and that they are “printed under tight security conditions”.
“It will not be possible for the ballot papers to be put through any additional treatment under such a tightly controlled environment,” it added.
The department added: “The introduction of self-inking pens is to allow voters to indicate their choice on the ballot clearly and easily.” The reason behind the use of these new pens is due to feedback from voters in previous elections – more so senior voters – that they “had difficulty gripping regular pens to mark their votes”.
Voters can also bring along their own pens to mark the ballot papers.
The department adds it is committed to ensuring voting security and secrecy, and has put in place rigorous controls at every step of the voting process to ensure this.
Following the department’s statement, one person online, Lye Danny, wrote on The Straits Times Facebook page that the “sudden change” should have been mentioned much earlier and not so close to Polling Day.
Another Facebook user, however, reminded Mr Lye that he could bring his own pen.
See ELD’s press release here. /TISG