“Manorama” report helps voters with 2016 ink marks vote again after 8 years

Shoranur: Thanks to a report in Malayala Manor, Usha, a voter of Kurappuri High School in Palakkad district, can exercise her franchise on Friday after a gap of eight years. When Usha came to her stall to contest the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, she held a newspaper and her voter ID card.

Usha’s ordeal began during the 2016 Kerala Assembly elections. The indelible ink mark on her left index finger remains to this day after the vote. Even though her nails have grown longer, the marks on her fingers haven’t disappeared. With ink still remaining on her fingers, Usha was unable to vote in any of the elections held in the state since 2016, including the 2019 Assembly elections and the 2021 Assembly elections.

This time too, Usha decided not to exercise her franchise rights. However, when Malayala Manorama reported her plight on April 25 and attached a photo, the district election panel intervened in the matter. Election officials contacted Usha and asked her to bring the newspaper to the polling station as evidence that the ink on her left index finger was in 2016.

When Usha arrived at the polling station on Friday, polling officials were initially suspicious of the ink stain on her left index finger. But when Usha showed the report to the Malayala Manor newspaper, the officer was convinced. Furthermore, the moderator of the booth, TS Divya, also realized the issue and allowed Usha to vote. Although Usha eventually voted after eight years, the presiding officer rejected her request to have the other finger inked.

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