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The Man Behind Those Purple Fingers

His product got the kind of attention that most companies only dream of, splashed across front pages and on TV news around the world. Robert Dyck, the founder of CODE Inc., in Ottawa, is responsible for the indelible purple ink that stained the fingers of Iraqi voters in the recent election.

Like Coke and KFC chicken, the ink has a secret ingredient so that it can’t be removed (after a few days, you shed the dyed skin), making it a simple and ingenious method of preventing voter fraud. Since the 1980s, CODE, an eight-person operation, has been supplying election materials to Third World countries – 106 elections in 62 countries so far. Admirable work. But here’s another reason why Dyck gets my vote: 75 percent of the profits fund literacy programs in developing countries.

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