रविवार, 25 जनवरी 2009

Petetion for my Voting Right : Time to revise the outdated Rule 49-O<

The following petetion is found on net, meant for Election Commission of India.
It asks you to sign it so that our Voting Right which is a Fundamental Right, can be protected.
To sign one has to klick on

Time to revise the outdated Rule 49-O
Ref Election Commission Press Note No.ECI/PN/35/2008
Dated: 5th December, 2008
The Chief Election Commissioner of India
You are aware that Section 49-O of �The Conduct of Electoral Rules, 1961� reads as under :
Sec. 49-O Elector deciding not to vote:--
If an elector, after his electoral roll number has been duly entered in the register of voters in Form-17A and has put his signature or thumb impression hereon as required under sub-rule (1) of rule 49L, decided not to record his vote, a remark to this effect shall be made against the said entry in Form 17A by the presiding officer and the signature or thumb impression of the elector shall be obtained against such remark.

This rule was framed in 1961 after 2 general elections had been held in the country. It appears that in these 2 elections it came to the notice of ECI (Election Commission of India) that there are some voters who may not want to cast vote It is for such people that the Rules provided for the procedure of using form No.17-A as detailed in Section 49-O. For long people in this country have thought that this provision is made for those voters who have not liked the candidature of any of the contesting candidate. Otherwise why would any voter, who feels that none of the contesting candidates is worthy will still take the trouble to reach the polling booth and appear for voting? Would he/she not go to enjoy the holiday as indeed many of the voters who know that ECI does not care for their opinion do go away to a holiday picnic. Sadly your notification suggests that they were right and some of us who trusted our democratic principles were wrong.

We wish to submit that the Rules framed in 1961 are today outdated and insufficient and fail to take proper cognizance of the feelings, decision and voting right of a voter as regards the candidates contesting the election. Most important aspect is that voting choice expressed through from 17-A is not counted � its value is that of a waste-paper as indeed your notification seeks to confirm.

Any voter, who feels that none of the contesting candidates is worthy of being elected and has still taken the trouble to reach the polling booth and appear for voting, definitely wishes his or her vote to be recorded and counted. Hence the present Section 49-O needs to be modified. It should now be provided that the Ballot paper will indicate �NO CHOICE� or �None of the Above� as one of the possible voting choices and the electronic machine will also provide for this choice and have a system to record and count the same.

The Right to Express our choice through Vote is the highest right given in a democracy. Even when we wish to declare all the contesting candidates unworthy, our opinion MUST be recorded and counted during Election. Today�s rules deny us this Fundamental Right. It is a matter of abrogation of our right. People in this country look up to you and expect you to be proactive and give a platform to their feeling. Hence we the undersigned request that necessary change in the Rules be made so that all the thinking voters get a right to record their opinion which should then be counted during the process of counting of votes and be declared while declaring the results of election. This will necessitate some further reforms which we hope, will occur eventually.
The Undersigned
To sign one has to klick on
Also see a Navbharat Times news here.
And a TOI news
And yet another TOI news

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