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It's time to know how you should 'not' vote

Soon after the date for civic elections is announced, social activists will take to the streets to educate people on how to exercise their franchise without voting for anybody

If you don't want to exercise your franchise, as you feel none of the candidates deserve your vote, just don't express the anguish in front of the presiding office at the booth and walk back home.

There's a proper procedure that you need to follow -- to not vote for anyone and still cast your ballot -- to prevent your vote from being misused.


No missing ink: If you don't want to vote for any candidate, you need
to visit the polling booth and get a cancelled sign marked against your
name and get your finger inked. representation pic


James John, a volunteer with Action for Good Governance and Networking in India (AGNI), an NGO, said, "Several people called me during the last civic election, as they wanted more information about the 'No Vote'
facility. However, there's nothing of this sort."

He added that people just go to the polling booth and inform the presiding officer that they do not want to cast vote and return back. "This is not the correct way, as no voting gets registered on the person's name, which can later be misused by a candidate or party through bogus voting," John said.

Motivate people
John said that their NGO would take to the streets to educate people on how to exercise their franchise even if they don't want to vote for anybody. "However, our key objective is to motivate people, especially youngsters, to cast ballot. As young people prefer not to vote, through this campaign, we'll make them aware of their right and also make parties understand that their candidate wasn't liked by the people," John said.

Likewise, Ruben Mascare-nhas, an IAC volunteer, said, "We'll bring all the candidates on one platform and will let the people choose their representative. We also want the right to recall to be used and would ask elected corporators to sign a letter agreeing to it.

Even the Nagrik Samiti, an NGO, will form a team that will go to the people, asking them to vote for the right candidate. The team will highlight both positive and negative aspects of every candidate in each ward.

How 'not' to vote
If you don't want to vote for any candidate, you need to visit the polling booth and get a cancelled sign marked against your name and get your finger inked. When the presiding officer presses the button that activates the EVM and signals you to vote, announce that you don't want to vote for anybody. Thus, you'll exercise your franchise, while your vote will not be counted for any candidate.

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