“Didi, maar ko toh naa hi BJP ka jum ra candidate, naa hi Congress, aur naa hi kisi aur party ka leader. Toh maine toh daalna hai vote to NONE OF THE ABOVE, aka, NOTA ko.”
“Abbe aise thorde hi hota hai, baawli!”
Well, the truth is, “aisa hota hai!”
- On 27 September 2013, NONE OF THE ABOVE (NOTA) was created.
- The Supreme Court of India ordered the Election Commission of India (ECI) to incorporate the NOTA symbol on the last panel of all electronic voting machines (EVM).
Life in India Before NOTA
- If the voter wanted to cast a negative vote, they had to remind the Chairman in the poll about it beforehand.
- The officer is responsible for ensuring that the voting is signed to deter bribery and abuse of votes.
- The officers would know that the voter has been casting a hostile poll behind them but not about the reason.
- The electors could complain to the Chairman about casting a negative ballot but must not contact the Chairman while voting.
Impact Of NOTA On Elections
- The Election Commission officials have confirmed, NOTA would have no influence on the election outcome (a drawback that needs more attention).
- Any voter shall have the freedom to refuse to vote if they believe that none of the candidates mentioned is worth their valuable vote.
- The Supreme Court of India has said that NOTA will tidy up the democratic environment of India. This would happen if the NOTA gets the maximum number of votes, winning the elections. It would then become apparent that the public demands different options and leaders.
- India became the 14th nation to make the option of NOTA available. Thus, since its introduction (into the world and not just India alone) it has been the subject of suggestions and discussions.
- Should the ECI open the option of re-elections if NOTA wins?” is one of the biggest questions yet to be answered (in India).
- The Election Commission must ensure that the candidates with fewer votes than NOTA are not reelected.
- If NOTA gets the highest number of votes, the second-place candidates will be proclaimed winners in the election. Also, there is a motion only for the candidate to announce the winner if the candidate receives a 50% + 1 vote.
NOTA UK is an organisation established in 2010 to add the NOTA alternative in election papers. In the UK electoral process, both votes are tallied and advertised, along with the negative ballots. The refused votes are then divided into four different categories:
- Want of official work
- Voting for more than one candidate
- Mark by which voter could be identified
- Uncertainties unmarked or invalid
As India is yet to discover more around NOTA, if a person votes for NOTA, many see it as, “waste of vote”. This is because neither re-elections are assured, and neither the candidates are replaced! Instead, the second-best wins the race, making NOTA nothing but a “Voice” that can severely impact the elections, and at times, leaders and politicians (who in turn influence policies) as well.
Nonetheless, one thing is clear that, if any of the candidates seem to you as not worth your vote, then you can express your voice by pressing the button for NOTA!
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