Election Commission clarifies NOTA option

Providing clarification over the recently included NOTA (None Of The Above) option in EVM/ Ballot paper in the upcoming polls as directed by the apex court, the Election Commission (EC) said that if the number of electors who had voted for the NOTA option exceeded the votes polled by any of the candidates, the candidate with the highest number of votes would be declared winner.

Clarification from the EC over NOTA option:
  • As per the provisions of clause (a) of Rule 64 of Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, read with Section 65 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, the candidate who has polled the largest number of valid votes is to be declared elected by the Returning Officer. Therefore, even if the number of electors opting for NOTA option is more than the number of votes polled by any of the candidates, the candidate who secures the largest number of votes has to be declared elected.
  • In case the number of contesting candidates is equal to the number of seats to be filled, the Returning Officer has to declare all the contesting candidates to be duly elected. In the case of elections to the Lok Sabha and the Legislative Assemblies, where there is only one contesting candidate in the fray, the RO has to, under the relevant provisions, declare the sole contestant as elected.



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