Since 2009, voters in India have had the option of selecting “None of the Above” (or NOTA). The vote has no electoral significance: even if a majority of ballots are cast, the candidate with the highest vote share is proclaimed the winner.
By declaring a preference for none of the above, a citizen can opt out of voting for any of the candidates running in the elections.
When NOTA first used?
The NOTA option was first utilised in 2013 assembly elections in four states (Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh), as well as in the Union Territory of Delhi. NOTA has grown in popularity among Indian voters since its inception, securing more votes than the victory margin in Assembly elections in Gujarat (2017),Karnataka (2018), Madhya Pradesh (2018) and Rajasthan (2018) .NOTA allows voters to express their dissatisfaction with the candidates on the ballot.
Does NOTA effect the results?
In the Indian system, NOTA has no electoral value. Even if the maximum number of votes are cast in favour of NOTA, the candidate with the most votes, which may possibly be just one, will be considered elected.
What function does it serve?
Despite the fact that NOTA has no electoral value, it is nonetheless an important tool for voters to express their dissatisfaction, which, it is hoped, would help to purify the system.
It is also viewed as a means for the marginalised minority to raise concerns that might otherwise go unnoticed in mainstream electoral discourse.
Reason for removing NOTA
What does NOTA strive towards or aspire to achieve? If someone has better candidates in mind, place them on the ballot paper as soon as possible.
The problem, it appears, is that there are many people in our country who want to appear “clever” and “special” without having any substance in their thoughts and actions. Elections must be fought; if you have a favourite candidate, get him or her on the ballot! It’s as simple; and it’s also the Process!
The TN State Election Commission’s decision not to integrate NOTA in EVM in urban local body votes is extremely condemnable.