Though the Central Election Commission (CEC) publicly tested last week the new ink for special passport stamps that are supposed to prevent multiple fraudulent voting in the February 18 Armenian presidential election, the ink turns out to be easy to remove with a damp napkin immediately after voting.
Armenia's presidential candidate Raffi Hovhannisian's election headquarters received numerous alarms by citizens about the ‘vanishing' ink.
CEC Spokesperson Hermine Harutyunyan said the ink was supposed to remain visible for at least 12 hours and could not be erased by any substance or liquid.
To check the information A1+'s journalist tried to "wipe off " the ink stamp with water. The ink disappeared within minutes.
Similarly, the stamps disappeared during the May 2012 parliamentary elections, sparking opposition allegations of foul play. Opposition leaders claimed that this was done deliberately to enable Armenians that supported or were bribed by the ruling Republican Party (HHK) to vote in two or more polling stations. The CEC immediately denied the allegations saying they had tested the vote stamps ahead of the elections.
Under the country's Electoral Code amended in 2011, election officials must put ink stamps on voters' passports at all polling stations.