2.5% of electorate opts for 'NOTA' option in Bihar

New Delhi, Nov 8: There were few takers in the Bihar Assembly polls for the 'none of the above' option which was introduced by the Election Commission in 2013 following a Supreme Court judgement.

According to figures made available by the poll body, 9,13,561 voters opted for the NOTA option in the state which has 243 assembly seats.


Percentage-wise, around 2.5 per cent voters hit the NOTA button which is placed as the last option on the electronic voting machine.

The figures and percentage may change till final results are out. Out of a total of over 6.68 crore voters, 56.80 per cent had exercised their franchise, the highest ever in Bihar's history, be it Assembly or Lok Sabha polls.

The 'NOTA' option on electronic voting machines this time had its own symbol - a ballot paper with a black cross across it.

The Bihar assembly polls were the first where the symbol appeared next to the 'none of the above' option on the last panel of EVMs and ballot papers.

After the Supreme Court order in September, 2013, EC added the NOTA button on the EVMs as the last option on the voting panel.

NOTA was exercised by nearly 60 lakh people in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Prior to the apex court order, those not inclined to vote for any candidate had the option of filling what is popularly called 'form 49-O'.

But filling the form at the polling station under Rule 49-O of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, compromised the secrecy of the voter.

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.


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