Supreme Court allows voters to reject candidates in polls

The Supreme Court gave the citizens of India, the right to reject all candidates in Election.

In a historic judgement, the Supreme Court on Friday gave the citizens of India, the right to reject all candidates in Election. Voters can cast negative vote by pressing a button saying none of the candidates is worthy of his vote.

Hearing an appeal filed by an NGO ‘the People’s Union for Civil Liberties’, the apex court declared that the Electronic Voting Machines must have a button that will permits the voters to choose ‘none of the above’ option.

The judges’ bench also directed the Election Commission to provide “None Of The Above (NOTA)’ button on EVMs as well as ballot papers.

Reportedly, the apex court said that the right to vote and the right to say NOTA are both part of fundamental right of speech and expression under Constitution of voters.

“Negative voting would foster purity and vibrancy in elections. Negative voting would lead to systemic change in polls and political parties will be forced to project clean candidates,” the apex bench observed.

The judgement will be put into practice without delay, and the ‘none of the above’ button will be included in EVMs and ballot papers to be used in the forthcoming state assembly elections later this year.

The SC has instructed Election Commission to spread the message among voters and also asked the federal government to render all support.

The judgement will have slight impact on the result of an election as negative votes will only be recorded on EVMs but will not count.

Those in support of negative voting have been pressing that re-election must be declared in a constituency where more than 50 percent of the voters eliminate all candidates. However, right now, the law doesn’t agree to that.

In the past, the Election Commission had also supported negative voting, although, the governments had been unwilling to execute the same.

As per present rules, a voter can decide to cast a ‘negative vote’ by going to the election booth and sign on the register, but not vote.

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