New Delhi: Finally, the None of The Above (NOTA) option has got a symbol on electronic voting machines (EVMs). The NOTA option with the symbol will make be used for the first time in the forthcoming assembly elections in four states and one Union Territory.
"For the first time in these states, a symbol for NOTA has been provided. Until now, the commission was writing NOTA, but this time the commission in consultation with National Institute of Design have prepared a symbol, which will be placed at the bottom of the list of the candidate," Chief Election Commissioner Naseem Zaidi said.
The symbol designed by the National institute of Design (NID) is a cross on a paper with a list of candidates. Pressing the NOTA button registers the voter's decision not to vote for any candidate. The cross is a universal sign denoting disapproval. This makes the Nota symbol easy to recognise and remember.
The symbol will appear against the NOTA option in the last panel on all EVMs.
In 2013, the Supreme Court had directed the EC to introduce a button for Nota in EVMs and a symbol on ballot papers to allow voters to exercise their right to reject a candidate as unworthy.
Earlier, voters who wanted to reject all candidates had the option of filling form 49-O at a voting booth but this compromised the secrecy of the ballot.
The Election Commission announced the dates of elections to five state assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Puducherry on Friday. The polls will be held between April 4 and May 16 and counting of votes will take place on May 19.