From desk, Notes for Students


Every time with the announcement of polls be it Loksabha or Assembly, the political parties start wooing the voters by some ways or the other. The voters too are in fix to decide who or which one should be taken NOTAseriously especially when the none of candidates are competent enough to vote.  That’s when a provision called NOTA has been introduced.
This blog aims at talking about a provision the election commission has introduced since 2013. That is NOTA.

What is NOTA ?:-

NOTA is an abbreviation of “None Of The Above” which is actually an option given by apex court and the election commission to the voters to express their dissatisfaction over the rest of the candidates contesting the election in the particular constituency. Using the option in the EVM,  the voters can disapprove the candidates who are contesting election a constituency.
In 2009, the ECI (Election Commission of India) had asked the Supreme Court to offer this option on electoral ballots, but the government had opposed to it. Later, in September 2013 the Supreme Court ruled that every voter should have the right to register a “None Of The Above” vote. The option has been in EVM( Electronic Voting Machine) since then.
Let’s talk about its use and significance here.
Every time the question arises “what is the use of NOTA?”
NOTA apparently gives people an opportunity to express their disapproval. This, in turn, increases the chances of more people turning up to cast their votes, even if they do not support any candidate and decreases the count of bogus votes.

Does a NOTA promote “Nihilism” in the democracy?

NOTA is “right to register a negative opinion” about the candidates contesting the election. This option is based on the principle that “consent requires the ability to withhold consent in an election”

Importance of the NOTA:-

The Election Commission clarified that votes cast as NOTA are counted, but are considered “invalid”. Therefore, votes made to NOTA will not change the outcome of the election.  The former Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi quoted” Even if there are 99 NOTA votes out of a total of 100, and candidates X gets just one vote, X is the winner, have obtained the only valid vote. The rest will be treated as invalid or no votes.” (let’s hope NOTA will also be taken seriously and provision will be made accordingly. Once NOTA wins the candidature of the candidates will be cancelled. ) Keeping the facts in mind, a bench headed by then-Chief justice of India P. Sathasivam said negative voting could bring out “a systematic change in the polls and political parties will be forced to project clean candidates”

How to cast to as NOTA?

At the bottom of the list of candidates, EVMs have an option titled NOTA. You need to press the button and express your disapproval “NONE OF THE ABOVE.
Please vote for better governance.