Lok Sabha Election

Only a marginal change in NOTA vote percentage

The percentage of votes for NOTA, or the none-of-the-above option, this year has remained virtually unchanged from last time, according to data from the Election Commission (EC) website.

In 2019, about 1.04% of the voters felt that none of the candidates deserved their vote. In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, this was around 1.08% of the voters.

The 2019 Lok Sabha elections stretched over six weeks and registered the highest voter turnout in the history of the Lok Sabha election.

The final voter turnout stood at 67.11%, according to the EC.

However, NOTA numbers varied widely across States, with a high of 2.08% in Assam and Bihar to 0.65% in Sikkim.

According to records from the Association For Democratic Reforms (ADR), a research agency, the number of NOTA options in 2014 was about 60,00,197 with the highest percentage from Bastar, Chhattisgarh with 38,772 (5.04%) votes followed by Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu with 46,559 (4.99%) and Nabarangpur of Odisha with 44,408 (4.34%) votes.

Comparative figures for the 2019 election were not available on Thursday.

‘Intense contest’

Professor Trilochan Sastry, one of the founders of the ADR, said the low NOTA percentages probably indicated a lack of awareness.

“Probably, those who know what NOTA is about don’t come out and vote as much. Also this was an intensely fought election,” he told The Hindu.

The NOTA option was introduced in India following a 2013 Supreme Court directive in the People’s Union for Civil Liberties v Union of India judgment.

It was first used in the 2013 Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and the former Union Territory of Delhi.

In these States and Delhi, NOTA constituted 1.85% of the total votes polled.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 2:41:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/only-a-marginal-change-in-nota-vote-percentage/article27226552.ece

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