Home / Politics / Policy /  More than 200,000 voters choose NOTA option

New Delhi: Voting with their feet, 220,490 people chose to exercise the none of the above (NOTA) option, according to results known till 2.45pm on Sunday.

Rajasthan, with 87,609 voters choosing the option to reject all candidates, had the highest number of NOTA voters among the states that went to the polls.

In Madhya Pradesh, 43,851 voters chose the NOTA option with Shahpura constituency registering the highest number at 7,929. Keshoraipatan, a scheduled caste reserved seat in Rajasthan, saw 7,230 voters exercising this option.

Bawana in Delhi saw the highest number of NOTA votes at 1,217 and the total for Delhi was 21,808.

This was the first time voters in India had been given the right to exercise this option, where a voter can show their rejection of all candidates in the fray in a particular constituency.

The Supreme Court on 27 September directed the Election Commission to introduce a none-of-the-above button in electronic voting machines.

“Not allowing a person to cast vote negatively defeats the very freedom of expression and the right ensured in Article 21, i.e., the right to liberty," said the ruling. “Democracy is all about choice. This choice can be better expressed by giving the voters an opportunity to verbalize themselves unreservedly and by imposing least restrictions on their ability to make such a choice."

The commission was quick to follow the directive and made the option available in voting machines for the assembly elections in Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram.

Vidisha, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s constituency in Madhya Pradesh had 1,368 voters choosing the NOTA option and former chief minister Vasundhara Raje’s Jhalarpatan constituency in Rajasthan saw 940 NOTA votes.

Chhattisgarh had 67,222 NOTA voters and the highest was in Chitrakot constituency, which is a scheduled caste reserved seat, with 6,460 seats.

Moulishree Srivastava contributed to this story.

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