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Election Commission releases NOTA symbol for all polls

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Ahead of Bihar assembly polls, Election Commission of India (ECI) launched the new symbol for the “None of The Above” (NOTA) option, wherein voter can exercise the franchise but the vote will not go any candidates bucket.

  • The symbol for NOTA option was designed by the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.

OBJECTIVE

The main objective of the NOTA option is to enable electors, who do not wish to vote for any of the candidates, to exercise their right without violation of the secrecy of their decision.

  • Election Commission of India had introduced NOTA – “None of the above” option on ballot papers displayed on EVMs and all other ballot papers in 2013 October, as per the Supreme Court’s order on 27th September 2013.
  • ECI has now introduced its own specific symbol like other election symbols to facilitate the voters in exercising their NOTA option (shown below – a ballot paper with a black cross across it).

Election Commission releases NOTA symbol for all polls

BACKGROUND

NOTA were exercised by nearly 60 lakh people in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Prior to the apex court order, those not inclined to vote for any candidate had the option of filling what is popularly called “form 49-O”. But filling the form at the polling station under Rule 49-O of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, compromised the secrecy of the voter.

KEYS

  • Election commission of India formed on 25 January 1950 (celebrated as National Voters Day).
  • Headquarters – New Delhi
  • It consists of a Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners.
  • Chief Election Commissioner – Nasim Zaidi
  • Election Commissioners – Achal Kumar Jyoti and Om Prakash Rawat