Nearly seven lakh voters in Bihar used the 'none of the above' or NOTA option in the assembly elections, according to latest figures. So far, results of 202 seats out of the total 243 have been announced.
According to figures released by the EC, 6,89,135 people or 1.69 per cent of the voters so far have opted for the option whereby they preferred not to vote for any candidate while exercising their democratic right. The 'NOTA' option on electronic voting machines, introduced in 2013, has its own symbol — a ballot paper with a black cross across it.
After the Supreme Court order in September, 2013, the EC added the NOTA button on the EVMs as the last option on the voting panel. Prior to the apex court order, those not inclined to vote for any candidate had the option of filling, what is popularly called, 'form 49-O'. But filling the form at the polling station under Rule 49-O of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, compromised the secrecy of the voter.
The Supreme Court had, however, refused to direct the Election Commission to hold fresh polls if the majority of the electorate exercises the NOTA option while voting. There were several seats in Bihar where NOTA option got more votes than winning margin of candidates.
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