49-O – the right to not vote

Over the past few weeks, 49-O has been in the lips of many. The concept of casting a null vote, though being publicised now, is not a new one. The Election Commission of India's website reveals that such a thing has been in existence since 1961.

Here is the procedure. Suppose you decide not to vote for any of the candidates in the fray, you can visit your polling station, and when your turn comes, you can walk up to the election official stating your intent to cast a null vote. You have to fill out a form and sign the register. And walk out!

The relevant section of the EC's Guide for Voters (PDF link) is as follows:

The homepage of the Election Commission has many more informative documents, that are worth a perusal.

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2 comments so far

  1. Anonymous on

    very useful information. Can you tell me, this voting will effect the election result any way after counting?

  2. Anonymous on

    its a shame we never knew the fact..also feels like irresponsibility on the part of the media to have never informed us with this valuable information and a little more than just irresponsibility on the part of our democratized anarchy-an intentional move not let the voters know of this fact which might negate their existence…suyash shandilya,kirori mal college,d.u.


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