New Delhi: Over 2.6 lakh voters who exercised their franchise in the May 10 Karnataka assembly polls used the ‘none of the above’ or NOTA option, according to Election Commission figures.
According to figures available around 3.30 pm, 2,59,278 (0.7 per cent) out of the nearly 3.84 crore people who came out to vote on Wednesday exercised the NOTA option.
The NOTA option on electronic voting machines (EVMs) was introduced in 2013 and it has its own symbol — a ballot paper with a black cross on it.
After a Supreme Court order in September 2013, the Election Commission had added the NOTA button on EVMs as the last option on the voting panel.
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Prior to the apex court’s order, those not inclined to vote for any candidate had the option of registering their decision under Rule 49-O (elector deciding not to vote) of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961. But this compromised the secrecy of the voter.
The NOTA button on an EVM ensures secrecy of ballot.
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.
The NOTA symbol was designed by the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, for the poll panel.