No fresh polls if NOTA votes exceed candidates’

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Mains Paper 2: Polity | Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: NOTA option

Mains level: Reforms in election process


News

PIL rejected

  1. Supreme couert rejected a public interest litigation petition suggesting fresh elections whenever the public chose overwhelmingly the “None of the Above” (NOTA) option
  2. The court said a voter had the right to express his dissent by staying at home

Arguments put forward by SC

  1. Let us say the highest percentage of votes polled by a candidate is 40 and the rest goes to NOTA
  2. Does this mean we subject this candidate to another election
  3. This means there should be an election each time a candidate gets less than 51% of the votes polled
  4. Saying this will be crossing a constitutional barricade

Back2Basics

NOTA option

  1. “None Of The Above”, or NOTA for short, also known as “against all” or a “scratch” vote, is a ballot option in some jurisdictions or organizations, designed to allow the voter to indicate disapproval of all of the candidates in a voting system
  2. It is based on the principle that consent requires the ability to withhold consent in an election, just as they can by voting “No” on ballot questions
  3. When “None of the Above” is listed on a ballot, there is the possibility of NOTA receiving a majority or plurality of the vote, and so “winning” the election
  4. In such a case, a variety of formal procedures may be invoked, including having the office remain vacant, having the office filled by appointment, re-opening nominations or holding another election (in a body operating under parliamentary procedure), or it may have no effect whatsoever, as in India
Electoral Reforms In India
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