Sukhbir Singh, a taxi driver in the national capital, goes to polling booth during every election. But he never votes. “All politicians are thieves. I go to the polling booth each time to mark my presence, but do not cast the vote. This time, I will press on the NOTA (none of the above) button,” he says. Singh says he has lost faith in the political parties and feel that NOTA is his chance to register his protest. Though Singh was unaware of Form 49 (O), he now knows about the NOTA option.
NOTA is a button on the EVM machine, which the voter will be able to make use of, if he or she is not satisfied with the candidates in the fray. Instead of not turning up for voting, those people who not sure of the candidates will have the option to press the NOTA button.
Form 49 (O), the Right to Reject has always been a part of the electoral process. Any voter who was not confident about the candidates could fill this form available with the booth in-charge at the polling booth. However less than one per cent of people were aware of the Right to Reject. “In the 2008 elections, only three people filled the Form 49 (O). However this time with a NOTA button on the EVM machine many who were not aware of Form 49 (O) will get this new option,” said Ankur Garg, chief nodal officer, Delhi Election Commission.