It is not common practice for voters to dip their right index finger in ink to show they have cast their ballots in the People's National Movement (PNM) Tobago Council internal election.
So said chairman of the elections supervisory committee Alvin Pascall as he responded to complaints by some voters at several polling stations in east Tobago about the absence of electoral ink to signify they had voted.
"The news is the people, having voted, do not have any ink on their finger. We have not catered for people with ink on their finger," he told Newsday.
"This is a membership election and we go on honour. There is a process for voting and when they come out hardly you can come out and go back again because your name is struck off the list."
Pascall added: "The short answer is that you would not see any voter with ink on their finger. This is standard practice for the internal election. We never use ink on people's finger. We have never done an election with ink on the member's finger."
Pascall said if one is a member of the PNM "you should have a little bit of honour in you."There is a procedure you go through so you would not be able to vote twice."
Leadership candidate Tracy Davidson-Celestine, however, said she did not know about the absence of the ink.
"There is no ink," she told reporters after casting her ballot at the Argyle Community Centre.
"You place your X on the ballot and then you submit your voting booklet and you leave so there is nothing really to indicate."
Davidson-Celestine, TT's Ambassador to Costa Rica, said she hoped the polling agents and clerks deployed at the various stations would record the votes accurately "to bring about a level of transparency in the process."
She made it clear she did not receive any information about the absence of the ink. Asked if she was concerned about the situation, Davidson-Celestine said: "We have to use faith in this particular instance because the ink would have been the signal that one would have cast their vote. The ink is absent in this particular arrangement and we just have to trust the process until the time that some irregularity arises.