Composition and Chemistry of Indelible Election ink in India

Indelible ink which is applied to fingers of voters during elections to prevent double voting contains Silver nitrate, which make it stain the skin, very difficult to wash off. The ink has been produced by Mysore Paints and Varnish Limited (MPVL) and it is not only used in India but also exported to many other countries.

Chemistry of Indelible Ink

When the indelible ink is applied to skin, the Silver Nitrate present in it reacts with the salt present on skin to form silver Chloride, which clings to skin and is not soluble in cold or hot water, alcohol, bleach, nail polish remover etc. The ink automatically disappears when old skin cells die and are replaced with new cells.

Where it is applied?

It is put on the left hand forefinger nail of the voter.  If the voter does not have a left hand forefinger, the indelible ink should be applied on any finger on his left hand. If he or she does not have any fingers on the left hand, the ink will have to be applied on the right hand forefinger. If the voter does not have a right hand forefinger, the ink can be applied on any finger. But if there are no fingers on either hand, the ink should be applied on ‘such extremity (stump) of his left or right hand as he possesses. Usually Indelible Ink is in violet color. South American country, Suriname, used Orange color ink in its legislative elections of 2005.



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