NOTA votes

Elections 2019: Find out how many votes for NOTA in every constituency

NOTA or 'None of the Above' option was introduced by the Election Commission in 2013 after the Supreme Court issued an order in September the same year. The option allows the voters to register their rejection for all the candidates who are contesting without violation of secrecy of their decision. However, while it allows the voters to give a negative feedback, NOTA does not mean dismissal of a winning candidate.

In its September 2013 order, the Supreme Court made it clear that even if the number of voters "opting for NOTA option is more than the number of votes polled by any of the candidates, the candidate who secures the largest number of votes has to be declared elected".

The NOTA option, an expression of decision to not vote for the contesting candidates, is also not relevant when only one candidate is contesting in state or national elections. "In the case of elections to the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies, in cases where there is only one contesting candidate in the fray, the Returning Officer has to, in accordance with the provisions of the said Section 53(2), declare the sole contesting candidates as elected," the top court order clarified.

The symbol for 'None of the Above (NOTA)' option, which appears in the last panel on all electronic voting machines and ballot papers, has been designed by National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad. The symbol shows a cross on a paper with a list of candidates.

The seven-phased national elections to elect the 17th Lok Sabha were held between April 11 and May 19. Votes will be counted on May 23.
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