ARMENIA'S CEC TESTS INK STAMPS TO PREVENT MULTIPLE VOTING

YEREVAN, February 12. / ARKA /. Armenia's Central Election Commission
(CEC) invited today journalists, representatives of local and
foreign election watching organizations as well as representatives
of presidential candidates to see how CEC chairman, Tigran Mukuchyan,
would test the ink stamps which election officials will put in voters'
passports to prevent multiple voting.

During the May 2012 parliamentary elections the opposition parties
complained that the stamps disappeared from passports very fast,
although they were supposed to disappear no sooner than 12 hours later.

Mukuchyan argued today that the problems in the May parliamentary
elections were caused by incorrect use of ink, not by its quality. He
said the CEC had nonetheless conveyed the problem to the ink-producing
company.

"We bought the ink for this election from the same British company,
because we do not know other companies producing this special ink. The
company had taken into account all the circumstances, even asked for
information about weather conditions in Armenia in February for the
last 10 years," he said.

Mukuchyan assured that no problems will arise with the ink during
the February 18 election, because the members of all electoral
commissions - 16 thousand people - had special courses, and besides
the CEC published a special guide about how to use the ink stamps.

He said some 2,200 bottles of ink were imported; each polling station
will be provided with one bottle. Polling stations with portable
ballot boxes will have tow bottles.

As for the cost of ink, Mukuchyan said CEC will provide all information
later in its financial report.

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