An effective, wholistic “NOTA”



The option of ‘None of the Above’ (NOTA) has been introduced in various elections in India. Citizens can vote for NOTA if they do not like to give their vote to any of the candidates who are there in the list. NOTA comes last in the list of candidates. However, NOTA is only symbolic.

Even if NOTA receives the highest number of votes in an election, NOTA will not be considered the winner. The winner will be the candidate who receives the second-highest number of votes.

This may make the voters doubtful on whether they should vote for NOTA, even if they have NOTA as their first choice. To avoid risk, voters may choose the second-best and will not vote for NOTA.

While India has contributed words such as ‘Dharma’ and ‘Mahatma’ to the English language, it has also contributed the word ‘LOOT’. NOTE corrupted some members of the legislature, and NOTA is capable of cleaning it up. To make NOTA effective and wholistic, the following improvisations are required:

(1) If NOTA receives the highest number of votes in an election, re-elections should be held in that constituency
(2) The candidates who contested in the constituency where NOTA received the highest number of votes should not be allowed to participate as candidates in the following re-elections of that constituency

Questions remain.

If NOTA is the winner in a constituency, shouldn’t there be a method to seek the viewpoints of citizens on why they voted for NOTA? What should be the time within which re-elections be held? Should there be a restriction on the number of such re-elections (if NOTA wins again)?

What may be your perspectives? You can post your ideas without giving your name and email id. Comments go through an approval, and will not be immediately visible.


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