[mpisgmedia] Right to not vote: "all-of-these" with responsibility, not "none-of-these" in anonymity

// I find this Republic Day eve report distressing

Voters can say 'no' on ballot papers: EC
PM ]
NEW DELHI: The Election Commission which is the sole
authority to conduct free and fair poll in the country
has joined the People's Union for Civil Liberties
(PUCL) in demanding that electorate must have a right
to cast "negative vote" so as to enable him to say
that none of the candidates in fray were worth his
EC's counsel Dr S Murlidhar told a Bench of Chief
Justice R C Lahoti and Justice G P Mathur the key
election body had written to the Centre twice-- 2001
and 2004-- seeking amendments to the Representation of
People Act so that provision could be made in the
ballot papers and the electronic voting machines
(EVMs) allowing casting of negative vote by a voter.
Following Murlidhar's surprise statement, the Bench,
which issued notice to Attorney General Milon Banerjee
and in a lighter vein said "EC is hand-in-glove with
the petitioner".
Adjourning hearing in PUCL's petition argued by Sanjay
Parikh... ...


I am sending to EC, AG and counsel in this PIL the
letter at:
(...The existing Refuse option (under Rule 49 O, prior
to secret ballot) adequately allows responsible
rejection, besides potential opportunity to sharply
draw attention of "all-of-these" to issues that
electors believe the political agenda is failing to
capture. An anonymous "none-of-these" option, on the
other hand, can at best fuzzily measure extent of
discontent and can be potentially dangerous,
culminating in rejection of democracy itself... I do
not think we are in any position to say the Refuse
option (not reducible to a Reject option) cannot
suffice for purposes of the "right to not vote" or
needs any more than the "Invalidate" option on EVMs.
If anonymous "none-of-these" is added in the voting
procedure, I propose (for logical rigour in the range
of options) an accompanying revised nomenclature of
Refuse option to "all-of-these", with rules to ensure
that the two are publicized equally...)

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