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Nation

EC issues orders for extending NOTA option to voters

Election Commission has issued instructions for chief electoral officers of states and Union Territories to introduce the None of the Above (NOTA) option during polls to enable voters to exercise their right to not vote for any particular candidate while maintaining secrecy.

EC has decided to introduce the NOTA option in forthcoming Assembly elections in the five states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Mizoram after Supreme Court in a 27 September judgement directed that the said option be included for voters on EVMs and ballot papers. Voters may for the first time exercise the choice of not opting for any candidate in the fray for a particular seat without their right to maintaining secrecy over their decision being violated.
‘Following the panel containing the name and symbol of the last candidate, there shall be a panel below with the words None of the Above written therein for the benefit of those electors who may wish to exercise the option of not voting for any of the candidates in the fray.

‘These words shall be written in the same language or languages as used in the case of names of candidates. The size of the panel for None of the Above shall be the same as for the candidates,’ the EC order said.
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