Media Reports: Polling Stations in Russia Receive Pens with Disappearing Ink

Written by Henrik Rothen

Mar.15 - 2024 8:43 AM CET

Photo: Wiki Commons
Photo: Wiki Commons
Polling Stations in Russia Receive Pens with Disappearing Ink.

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In a startling revelation, polling stations across Russian regions have reportedly been supplied with pens containing disappearing ink. According to readers who reached out to the publication "Sirena," these special pens have begun to be used at voting sites.

"A resident of Kursk reported, providing video evidence, 'The writing disappears with heat, though the pen looks ordinary. We were told to keep quiet and only use these pens from the delivered boxes,'" the report stated according to Moscow Times.

The pen given to him was in a box branded by the stationery company BiC with the official emblem of the presidential elections from the Central Election Commission.

Similar pens also surfaced at a polling station in Rostov-on-Don. "Check [the pens] or bring your own to avoid corrections," advised a local resident who encountered the heat-disappearing ink.

"Sirena" notes that such technology has been used in Russian elections since at least 2009. Ballots dropped into the voting box without marks are deemed invalid, but this allows commission members to unlawfully mark any candidate after the site closes.

The three-day presidential voting commenced in Russia on March 15 and will continue until Sunday, March 17. During these three days, Russians can vote for their candidate from 8:00 to 20:00.

The three-day voting started from Chukotka and Kamchatka region, where polling stations opened on March 14 at 23:00 Moscow time. On the main election day, March 17, the Russian opposition has planned a protest action "Noon Against Putin." Those opposed to Vladimir Putin's re-election for a fifth term are encouraged to come to the polling stations at 12:00.

The Moscow Prosecutor's Office has equated the action to an "unsanctioned mass public event," allegedly aimed at violating electoral legislation. The department's warning states that the simultaneous arrival of citizens at polling stations could be classified as a crime under Article 141 of the Criminal Code for impeding the conduct of elections, with a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment.

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