- NOTA is the acronym for “None of the above“also known as against all or a scratch vote, is a ballot option in some jurisdictions, designed to allow the voter to get indicated about the disapproval of all of the candidates in a voting system.
- It is kept on the foundation on the principle that consent requires the ability to withhold consent in an election, just as they can by voting “No” on ballot questions.
- When “None of the Above” is listed on the ballot, there is the possibility of NOTA receiving a majority of the vote, and so “winning” the election.
- A farrago of formal procedures could be invoked, including making the office remain vacant or by appointing and making the office get filled up, re-opening the nominations or holding another election, or it may have none of the effect what so ever, as in India and the state of Nevada in the United States..
- The idea of a None of the above ballot option came in 1976 when the Isla Vista Municipal Advisory Council passed a resolution to put forward this choice in the official electoral ballot, in County of Santa Barbara, California, in the USA
THE NEED FOR NOTA
- In our country India, it usually happens that a voter does not support any of the candidates in an election, but they have no choice but to select a candidate.
- According to the Supreme Court of India, the introduction of the option None of the Above that is the option of NOTA to voters could lead to systematic impacts and adverse affects in polls and the political parties will be forced to project clean candidates.
- In a voting system, the voter should have an allowance to indicate disapproval of all of the candidates. The intial and major purpose of introducing this option is to provide a voter the power or right to reject all candidates if they do not like any and all the candidates listed in the EVM (electronic voting machine).
- The political parties would be left with option an other than to nominate clean candidates on their behalf in the elections. Candidates having backgroungs of criminal or immoral sort would have no option but to abstain from contesting elections.
THE PROS OF NOTA
- Although, there are several or numerous adverse aspects or cons about None of the Above option in elections to voters, though the positive ones also should be kept in light of focus.
- The primary and major motive of the Supreme Court of India was to exert a force to the political parties to project candidates with clean background as their candidates.
- The candidates who turn out to be winners of the election become part of the legislature, governing the country. Therefore, it is felt mandatory and neccessary that candidates with backgroungs of criminal or immoral or unclean sort are deterred from contesting the elections.
THE CONS OF NOTA
- Some of the nations who initially introduced this option of NOTA to the voters, later discontinued or did not kept this system in force.
- In nations where voting machines consist of a NOTA button, there are opportunities of them receiving a majority of the vote and hence turning out to be the winner of the election. In such cases, the Election Commission may opt any of these following options:
- a) keep the office vacant,
- b) fill office by appointment,
- c) hold another election.