Chaos reigned when I told the polling officer that I want to vote for no one in the list of the candidates listed. She simply said that I could not do like that. I told her that there is a provision provided to do just that and its Section 49-O. She asked the Booth in-charge for help, but the Booth in-charge too did not have a clue on what this section was. This chaos went on for almost 10 minutes on the correct process to handle situations like this. Finally the representative from the Election Commission was summoned and he calmly asked the Booth in-charge to get my signature on the sheet and add in that I am not voting for the candidates that are listed in there and then himself sign the sheet.
With this drama happening in the polling booth, almost all of the people who stood behind me to cast their votes came to know about my choice, which is not the ideal scenario for something that’s known as a ‘Secret Ballot’
I feel that the best possible way to get out of such situations is for the Election Commission to introduce a button on the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) saying ‘None Of The Above’ . This will maintain the feature of ‘Secret Ballot’ and yet get to exercise the option of not voting for any of the candidates listed in the sheets.