Don’t wish to vote? Make use of code 49-0

November 28th, 2008 - 5:58 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 28 (IANS) If you do not wish to vote anyone in the Delhi assembly elections Saturday, do not sit home but go to the polling station and exercise your right not to vote. Many may not be aware about the provision called 49-O in the Conduct of Elections Act, 1969, which enables people to go to the polling booths, confirm their identity, get their finger marked and convey to the presiding election officer that they would prefer not to vote.

A student organisation Youth For Equality has launched a helpline to make people aware about the provision.

“Many people don’t vote as they feel that their candidates are useless and corrupt. So by casting this protest vote, we can sow our dissent and disapprove these candidates,” Jiten Jain, a member of the organisation, told IANS.

According to Jain, the helpline is flooded with phone calls from people interested in knowing the procedure of the provision.

“For those wishing to invoke the provision should convey the election booth officials that they want to go for 49-O and register their signature in the form available there,” Jain said.

People who want to know more can call on helpline numbers 9868340420, 9899223732.

The organisation has also launched an SMS service with the help of Google to send alerts about 49-O on election day to remind voters about their power to say “I VOTE NOBODY”… and show their disapproval of current politicians.

“We have around 100,000 members subscribed to this service and most of them are first time voters,” Jain said.

Around 10.7 million people are eligible to vote to elect a 70-member Delhi assembly. Voting will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. at 11,155 polling booths across the capital.

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