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Not many aware of NOTA option Not many aware of NOTA option

Apr-25-2014 | 0 Comments

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COIMBATORE: NOTA or None Of The Above option did not seem to be popular among residents of Coimbatore on Thursday. Most voters were not aware of the option and many who knew about it did not opt for it.

Despite the Election Commission ordering the district administration to educate and create awareness among voters about NOTA through campaigns, many uneducated people did not know about the option, especially in the suburban areas like Thudiyalur, Periyanaickenpalayam, Nambialaganpalayam, Vadavalli, Thondamuthur and Annaikatti. "No one told us about such an option. I don't know what it is," said P Eshwaran, 24, from Maankuzhi village. "I have never heard of it," said Raniammal, 75, from Alamaramedu.

The officers at Palamalai and Annaikatti booths said that posters talking about NOTA and its place on the machine had been written and stuck outside the booths. People are expected to read it while waiting in the queue, they added.

The posters were present outside every booth but were not displayed prominently. They were often hidden in a corner and sometimes even covered by a door. The officers also seemed to have missed the fact that illiterate people would not have been able to read it. "We were not given orders to conduct such campaigns," said an election officer in Vadavalli. "We have too much work to stand outside and keep telling the crowd about the option," she added.

However, not many people, who knew about it, seemed to have opted for it either. " After making an effort to come to the booth and standing in a queue I did not want to waste my vote choosing NOTA though I don't fully believe that a change in government will make much of a difference," said H Jayachandran, a voter in Coimbatore South. However, a small group of people chose the option to ensure that their vote is not misused. "I didn't think any of the candidates in my constituency were fit to enter the Parliament, so I clicked on NOTA," said Thrupti Parekh, another voter.

The NOTA option was introduced by the Election Commission in September 2013. However, the number of NOTA votes will be considered invalid and will not play a part in deciding a candidate's forfeiture of deposit.

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