A vote for ‘none of the above’

A chance to say ‘no’ to all the candidates on the ballot may help Indian voters to reinforce the world’s largest democracy

India’s Supreme Court has ruled that from now on the Country’s voting machines must offer electors the option of choosing “None of the Above” (NOTA) rather than necessarily casting their vote in favor of any of the candidates on the ballot. The move is a reaction to voter unhappiness with the quality of candidates they are called upon to choose from. With the NOTA ruling that introduces negative voting in India, the country’s judiciary and parts of Indian civil society appear to have wrenched the mantle of democratic initiative away from the political establishment. ‘None of the Above’ voting is meant to enhance the democratic potential of the most populous republic in the world. Quite simply, it provides for an extra button to be added to existing Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), allowing voters to reject all of the candidates.

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