Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now

Why do polling stations use pencils instead of pens?

You wondered. We asked.

FOR THOSE WHO did go out and vote last Saturday, some left their polling station with more questions than answers.

Could we have stumbled upon the conspiracy to end all conspiracies? Eh, probably not.

The reason is far simpler and, dare we say it, actually practical.

A spokesperson from the Department of the Environment told that pencils are “more sustainable and, above all, more reliable.”

While some may wonder whether pencil marks could be erased prior to the count taking place, another, infinitely more likely concern won out.

“In the event of the ballot papers getting wet before the count, pencil marks will remain. Pen marks may not.”

We are in Ireland after all.

For those who really, really want to make their mark using ink in future, you can always bring your own pen.

Read: Referendum on children’s rights passed >

About the author:

Paul Hyland

Read next: