Special Correspondent

VELLORE: If after his roll number has been entered in the register of electoral roll in form 17-A and after he has put his signature or thumb impression on the relevant paper in a polling booth, an elector decides not to record his vote, a remark to this effect shall be made against the said entry in form 17-A by the presiding officer. The signature or thumb impression of the elector shall be obtained against such remark, according to a letter written by the Chief Electoral Officer, Naresh Gupta to all District Electoral Officers.

The letter says that Rule 49-O of the Conduct of Elections Rule 1961 contains the provisions regarding electors' decision not to vote.

The CEO has asked the District Electoral Officers to communicate the above rule position to all returning officers and assistant returning officers of Assembly Constituencies in respective districts.

The above position should also be clearly explained to the presiding officers/polling officers in the training classes to be conducted for them.

The CEO has arranged for wide publicity to this rule position following a representation made by a non-governmental organisation to the Chief Election Commissioner during his visit to Chennai on March 28 and 29.