New Delhi, Mar 10 (PTI) Nearly eight lakh voters, who exercised their franchise in the five states which went to assembly polls, used the ‘none of the above’ or NOTA option, according to data available on the Election Commission website.
In Manipur, out of the total voters, 10,349 or 0.6 per cent used the NOTA option. Similarly in Goa, 10,629 voters (1.1 per cent) used the option.
In Uttar Pradesh, which has the maximum number of 403 assembly seats, 621,186 voters or 0.7 per cent used the NOTA option. In Uttarakhand, those who pressed the NOTA button EVMs stood at 46,830 (0.9 per cent). In Punjab, 110,308 voters (0.9 per cent) went for NOTA.
The total stands at 799,302 voters in all the five states.
The ‘NOTA’ option on electronic voting machines, introduced in 2013, has its own symbol — a ballot paper with a black cross across it.
After the Supreme Court order in September 2013, the EC added the NOTA button on the EVMs as the last option on the voting panel.
Prior to the apex court order, those not inclined to vote for any candidate had the option of registering their decision under Rule 49-O (elector deciding not to vote) of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961. But this compromised the secrecy of the voter.
The Supreme Court had, however, refused to direct the Election Commission to hold fresh polls if the majority of the electorate exercises the NOTA option while voting. PTI NAB ZMN
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