Monday, July 4, 2011

Of indelible ink or biometric system?

MM: What has hindered the EC from implementing cleaning the electoral roll, reforming postal balloting, use of indelible ink, and minimum 21 days campaigning period?

EC Deputy Chairman:  .... With regards to indelible ink, it is used among countries which have no identification system, such as Africa and India. They have not reached our level yet. We only have 12 million voters. Why should we turn our system backwards when we have reached this level of technological advancement? The reason there is a push for the use of indelible ink is due to fear of double-voting, but we have an adequate system to handle voter identification and it is nearly impossible for people to register twice ....

Full Q&A

Reading this part of the Q&A made me recall an urban legend closely related to the above situation.

At the height of the space race, the Americans and Soviets approached the same problem: how an astronaut (or cosmonaut) could use a pen to write in zero gravity.
As the story goes, the Americans spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on an ambitious, gravity-immune ballpoint pen; they successfully developed such a pen; and this pen went on to become a massive commercial success in the private sector. The Soviets - with the simple elegance their scientists are so rightly famed for - opted instead to use a pencil.

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