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Wednesday, 2 April 2014

All About NOTA in INDIA

'NOTA' ( None Of The Above) is the buzzword everyone is curious about. NOTA also known as "against all" or a "scratch" vote, is a ballot option designed to allow the voter to indicate disapproval of all of the candidates in a voting system.


                    In India, in 2009, the Election Commission of India asked the Supreme Court that to offer the voter a ‘None of the above’ option at the ballot as it would give voters the freedom of not selecting any undeserving candidate. The Government was not in favour of such an idea.
"The People’s Union for Civil Liberties" which is an NGO, filed a public interest litigation(PIL) statement to favour NOTA. Finally on 27th September 2013, the right to register a ‘None of the above’ vote in elections was applied by the Supreme Court of India, which then ordered the Election Commission that all voting machines should be provided with a NOTA button so as to give voters the option to choose ‘none of the above’. And was first introduced in EVMs (Electronic Voting Machine) in five state assembly elections held last year(2013).

How NOTA works:

              The main motive to introduce NOTA was to force the political parties to contest candidates with clean background.
The "none of the above" (NOTA) button that electronic voting machines have does not give you the 'the right to reject' all candidates its just given "the right to register a negative opinion."
NOTA votes count will be made public but they do not have any significance as of now, Even if NOTA gets maximum votes, the person with next maximum number of votes will be declared as winner.

Lets see how it works,…

If a constituency has 1000 votes and three candidates A, B, C are contesting elections. Now the voting results are something like this,
Candidate A -   150
Candidate B -   200
Candidate C -   250
NOTA votes -  400
Total Votes =  1000
In this case, though majority voted for NOTA, But Candidate C will be declared winner, the rest will be treated as invalid or 'no votes'.  So from above example its seems like NOTA button might not have much impact on electing right candidate then why is NOTA button in EVM’s ??

The only use of NOTA,  that it would put "pressure political parties to nominate only good candidates." As NOTA vote count is made public, Political parties will be cautious in selecting their candidate, because it will be embarrassing if NOTA votes are more than winning votes, which means majority people actually rejected all the candidates,... and may be in future we may see re-elections with fresh candidates by disqualifying all the candidates who lost to NOTA votes.

NOTA option will be provided at the bottom of the panel on the EVMs or as the last row in the ballot paper after all the candidates have been listed with their respective symbols in the same language used to list the candidates. Likewise, the contours of the NOTA panel will be identical to that given to each candidate.
In constituencies with 16 candidates in the fray, an extra EVM will be attached to the first balloting unit for the NOTA option as the EVMs currently in use can accommodate only 16 rows. The NOTA votes will be counted and indicated in the final result chart.

How NOTA worked in the assembly elections

The recently held assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan were the first where voters had the option to reject all candidates by voting for “none of the above” (NOTA).

                Picture above shows the median vote share of NOTA in each state that went to the polls.
It is interesting to note that the median vote share of NOTA was the least in Delhi, a state where one would expect to find the most educated voters among the states that went to polls. What makes this statistic interesting is that apart from NOTA, these elections also marked the rather spectacular debut of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi.
In the run up to the elections, AAP projected itself as a “party with a difference” and its presence is credited with the sharp increase in the voting percentage in Delhi in these polls. Taken together with the above data, it indicates that in the presence of a credible alternative, people are unlikely to vote for NOTA. From this perspective, the presence of NOTA on the electronic voting machine is useful for judging the credibility of the candidates and parties contesting in a constituency.
Before the introduction of NOTA, how did voters register their protest against the candidates and parties in their constituency? One way was to not vote at all. The other was to cast the votes in favour of a small party or an independent. The question is whether people are still doing that given the option of NOTA. In order to “measure” this, we look at the vote share of NOTA against the number of candidates in a particular constituency.


To all whoever feel
My vote doesn't count,
What happens with my single vote,
I don't want to be part of dirty politics lets keep away,
NOTA is for you, now after seeing all these changes we must believe NOTA can bring small change in political parties.
Voting is not just our right its our moral duty to elect right representative…
Don’t just enjoy a holiday on VOTING day please cast your vote.


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