History of NOTA
The ‘None of the above’ option in ballot has its origin in the year 1976 when the Isla Vista Municipal Advisory Council decided to have this option in the official electoral ballot, in County of Santa Barbara, California, in the USA.
Walter Wilson & Matthew Landy Steen, the then council ministers, proposed to make some changes in the ballot procedure of the elections. The ‘None of the above’ (NOTA) option was introduced for the first time, in 1978, during a ballot by the State of Nevada. In California, a complete of $ 987,000 was spent in promoting this ballot option but it had been defeated by a margin of 64% to 36% within the March 2000 election.
Introduction of NOTA
In India, in 2009, the committee of India asked the Supreme Court that to supply the voter a ‘None of the above’ option at the ballot because it would give voters the liberty of not selecting any undeserving candidate. The Government was not in favor of such an idea.
“The People’s Union for Civil Liberties’” which is an NGO, filed a public interest litigation statement to favor NOTA. Finally on 27th September 2013, the proper to register a ‘None of the above’ choose elections was applied by the Supreme Court of India, which then ordered the Election Commission that each one voting machines should be given a NOTA button so from now on voters will have the choice to settle on ‘none of the above’.
Need for introducing NOTA
In our country, it often happens that a voter doesn’t support any of the candidates within the election, but they need no choice but to pick a candidate. According to the judges of the Supreme Court of India, the introduction of NOTA choice to voters would cause a very good change in election and because of these political parties are going to be forced to present clean candidates. In a voting system, the voter should be allowed to indicate disapproval of all of the candidates. The very purpose of introducing this feature is to empower the voter to reject all candidates if they are doing not like all and every one the candidates listed within the EVM (electronic voting machine). The political parties would be left with option aside from to nominate clean candidates on their behalf within the elections. Candidates with criminal or immoral backgrounds would haven’t any option but to abstain from contesting elections.
Advantages of NOTA
Although there are many negative points about ‘None of the above’ option in elections to voters, the positive points also can’t be ignored. The intention behind this of the Supreme Court of India was to pressurize the political parties to project candidates whose background is clean and clear as their candidates. The candidates who win the election become a part of the legislature, governing the country. It was, therefore, felt necessary that candidates who have criminal or immoral backgrounds are prevented from contesting the elections. If this feature of ‘None of the above’ is implemented with its true intent, the entire political scenario of the country will drastically change from this scenario.
Disadvantages of NOTA
Some of the countries, who in the beginning introduced such option to the voters, later abolished the system of this option. In countries where voting machines have a NOTA button, there are very much chances that it will be receiving a majority of the vote and hence will win the election. In such a case, committee may opt any of those options a) keep the office vacant, b) fill office by appointment c) hold another election. The State of Nevada, in such a situation, features a policy of no effect whatsoever and therefore the next highest total wins.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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