March 13, 2009 4:01:07 am
If a voter does not like any candidate and wants to cast a negative vote,he or she can do so in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. Though this option was available to voters earlier too,this time the Election Commission has began training the polling and presiding officers so that they can guide voters who want to cast a negative vote.
Rule 49 O of the Conduct of Election Rules 1961 describes the procedure to be followed when a voter wants to cast a negative vote by rejecting all the candidates in the ballot paper list and decides to record this fact so that his voting right cannot be exercised by others.
In the last election,we received feedback that some voters who wanted to cast negative votes could not be guided by the electoral officers properly as the officers were not aware of the provision of casting negative vote. So,we have arranged special training for polling officers so that they can guide the voters in this regard, said Debashis Sen,Chief Electoral Officer,West Bengal Election Commission.
He added that the voter has to give his thumb impression and sign the voters register before leaving the poll booth in case he or she decides to opt for negative vote.
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Sen further said: There is no provision of cancelling a poll on the basis of negative votes. It is completely false. The candidate who will get the highest votes among the valid votes cast will be the winner, said Sen.
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