1.29 crore votes cast for NOTA in last five years: ADR

About 1.29 crore votes were cast for NOTA option in the last five years in state and general elections, poll rights body ADR said on Thursday.

The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW) have analysed the number of votes secured by NOTA (None of the above) in various elections during 2018 to 2022.

According to the report, on an average NOTA has secured 64,53,652 votes (64.53 lakhs) in the state assembly elections.

The report said overall, NOTA secured 65,23,975 (1.06 per cent) votes.

Among the NOTA votes in Lok Sabha elections, the highest number of votes i.e., 51,660 was in Gopalganj (SC) constituency in Bihar while the lowest number of NOTA votes i.e., 100 was in Lakshadweep.

Among state assembly elections, NOTA has secured the highest percentage of votes in 2020 at 1.46 per cent (7,49,360 votes) in two states assembly elections of Bihar (7,06,252 votes) and NCT Delhi (43,108 votes).

NOTA has secured lowest percentage of votes in 2022, i.e., 0.70 per cent (8, 15,430 votes) in five states assembly elections (combined) of Goa (10,629 votes), Manipur (10,349 votes), Punjab (1,10,308 votes), Uttar Pradesh (6,37,304 votes) and Uttarakhand (46,840 votes), the report said.

NOTA secured the highest number of votes in Maharashtra (7,42,134) in state Assembly Elections, 2019, and secured the lowest number of NOTA votes (2,917) in Mizoram Assembly Elections, 2018.

NOTA secured the highest percentage of vote share i.e., 1.98 per cent in Chhattisgarh state assembly, 2018, it said.

NOTA secured the lowest percentage of vote share i.e., 0.46 per cent in both Delhi State Assembly Elections, 2020 and Mizoram State Assembly Elections, 2018.

Constituency wise, NOTA has secured as high as 27,500 votes in Latur Rural constituency of Maharashtra and as low as nine votes in Tali constituency of Arunachal Pradesh.

In few constituencies of Arunachal Pradesh such as Dirang, Along East, Yachuli and Nagaland’s one constituency Northern Angami the candidate did not have any rival candidates so NOTA has secured no votes.

Red Alert Constituencies which have three or more candidates with criminal cases contesting elections, NOTA has secured 26,77,616 votes (26.77 lakhs) in state assembly elections since 2018, the ADR said.

NOTA has secured the highest percentage of votes, i.e., 1.63 per cent (6,11,122) in 217 red alert constituencies of Bihar, it said.

The ADR has recommended that if in any constituency, votes polled for NOTA are higher than all the contesting candidates then no candidates should be declared as elected and fresh election should be conducted, in which none of the earlier candidates should be allowed to contest.