NOTA- NEGATIVE VOTING WHAT is NOTA Well, lets start, Politicians are under constant attack following 26/11. A new movement has now asked for change in the election process to allow voters ‘negative voting”. Though the Conduct of Elections Rules has such a provision , the electronic voting machines(EVMS) have no buttons with “None of the above option”, which is also called NOTA internationally. The NOTA system is being followed in many countries like France, Colombia, Nevada(USA), Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Ukraine and Bangladesh(in December) A senior Income tax Officer has begun a movement to get NOTA incorporated in EVMs so that voters can go for it if they don’t find any suitable candidate. R.S. Shrivastav, additional Commissioner of Income tax in Mumbai, has travelled 1400km in Gujarat by motorcycle in last week of January 2009 to create awareness about NOTA. Incidentally, a petition on the same issue filed by an NGO was to come up for hearing before Apex Court on Tuesday , 13th January 2009. Even he distributed the material on NOTA in Mumbai at Churchgate. Further, Srivastava said that Rule 49-O in the Conduct of Elections Rules provides for NOTA option, but is not incorporated in the EVM. A voter who wants to go for negative voting has to approach the presiding officer who would made a remark against the electoral roll number of the voter. “However, this exposes the secrecy of the voter which is contrary to clause in the Representation of the People Act and also the Constitution of India”. He said people must express for incorporation of the NOTA option to enable them to go for it fearlessly. Rule 49-O If an elector, after his electoral roll number has been duly entered in the register of voters in Form 17A and has put his signature or thumb impression, decided not to record his vote, a remark to this effect shall be made against the entry in Form 17A by the presiding Officer and the signature or thumb impression shall be obtained against such remark. (The said article was pubilshed in Hindustan times on 09th JAnuary 2009)

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Source : Hindustan times, 9th January 2009
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