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Lecturrete Topic 141 - NOTA

  1. "None of the above", or NOTA for short, also known as "against all" or a "scratch" vote, is a ballot option in some jurisdictions or organizations, designed to allow the voter to indicate disapproval of the candidates in a voting system.
  2. The main objective of the ‘NOTA’ option is to enable electors who do not wish to vote for any of the candidates to exercise their right to reject without violation of the secrecy of their decision. The voter must be eligible to register a vote of rejection if they feel that the contesting candidates do not deserve to be voted for. The Right to vote granted to all citizens must allow the vote of disapproval.
  3. On 27 September 2013, the Supreme court of India ruled that the right to register a "none of the above" vote in elections should apply, while ordering the Election Commission to provide a button for the same in the electronic voting machines.
  4. If a voter chooses to press NOTA it indicates that the voter has not chosen to vote for any of the party.
  1. If political parties impose unqualified candidates on voters, the citizens of India can hit back with NOTA.
  2. NOTA will make political parties more responsible, which will nominate better candidates to contest an election. Moreover, it can widen participation and repress impersonation.
  3. NOTA provides the opportunity for people to express their disapproval by upholding ‘right to freedom of speech and expression’. This, in turn, persuades people to cast their votes, even if they do not support any candidate.

  1. Even if the majority of people choose NOTA, the candidate with the maximum no. of votes will be elected. Hence, It is not providing the chance to disqualify and reject the candidates.
  2. People can be influenced by other citizens for voting for the NOTA option without understanding the platforms of each running candidate.

The symbol used with NOTA option on ballot papers and electronic voting machines in India: