Here is the fake email that has been doing rounds and providing incorrect information about Section 49-O of the Conduct of Election Rules:
Did you know that there is a system in our constitution, as per the 1969 act, in section "49-O" that a person can go to the polling booth, confirm his identity, get his finger marked and convey the presiding election officer that he doesn't want to vote anyone!
Yes such a feature is available, but obviously these seemingly notorious leaders have never disclosed it.
This is called "49-O". Why should you go and say "I VOTE NOBODY"… because, in a ward, if a candidate wins, say by 123 votes, and that Particular ward has received "49-O" votes more than 123, then that polling will be cancelled and will have to be re-polled. Not only that, but the candidature of the contestants will be removed and they cannot contest the re-polling, since people had already expressed their decision on them. This would bring fear into parties and hence look for genuine candidates for their parties for election. This would change the way; of our whole political system… it is seemingly surprising why the election commission has not revealed such a feature to the public.
The Truth about 49-O:
If an elector, after his electoral roll number has been duly entered in the register of voters
in Form-17A and has put his signature or thumb impression thereon as
required under sub-rule (1) of rule 49L, decided not to record his
vote, a remark to this effect shall be made against the said entry in
Form 17A by the presiding officer and the signature or thumb
impression of the elector shall be obtained against such remark.
This Infers that in no case will there be a re polling in the said constituency, however the negative/neutral vote is
registered and counted so as to cross check on the total number of votes polled.
VoteIndia.in encourages Voters to cast a protest vote incase they feel there is no right candidate to vote for.
Here is what the Election Commission has to say on NEGATIVE / NEUTRAL
The Commission has received proposals from a very large number of individuals
and organizations that there should be a provision enabling a voter to reject
all the candidates in the constituency if he does not find them suitable.
In the voting using the conventional ballot paper and ballot boxes, an elector
can drop the ballot paper without marking his vote against any of the candidates,
if he chooses so. However, in the voting using the Electronic Voting Machines,
such a facility is not available to the voter. Although, Rule 49 O of the
Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 provides that an elector may refuse to vote
after he has been identified and necessary entries made in the Register
of Electors and the marked copy of the electoral roll, the secrecy of voting
is not protected here inasmuch as the polling officials and the polling
agents in the polling station get to know about the decision of such a voter.
The Commission recommends that the law should be amended to specifically
provide for negative / neutral voting. For this purpose, Rules 22 and 49B
of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 may be suitably amended adding a
provision that in the ballot paper and the particulars on the ballot unit,
in the column relating to names of candidates, after the entry relating
to the last candidate, there shall be a column ìNone of the above, to enable
a voter to reject all the candidates, if he chooses so. Such a proposal
was earlier made by the Commission in 2001 (vide letter dated 10.12.2001).
(A petition by the People ís Union for Civil Liberties seeking such a provision
filed at the time of the recent general elections is pending before the
Honíble Supreme Court)
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