Elitist nondominated sorting genetic algorithm (NSGA-II) is adopted and improved for multiobjective optimal reactive power flow (ORPF) problem. Multiobjective ORPF, formulated as a multiobjective mixed integer nonlinear optimization problem, minimizes real power loss and improves voltage profile of power grid by determining reactive power control variables. NSGA-II-based ORPF is tested on standard IEEE 30-bus test system and compared with four other state-of-the-art multiobjective evolutionary algorithms (MOEAs). Pareto front and outer solutions achieved by the five MOEAs are analyzed and compared. NSGA-II obtains the best control strategy for ORPF, but it suffers from the lower convergence speed at the early stage of the optimization. Several problem-specific local search strategies (LSSs) are incorporated into NSGA-II to promote algorithm's exploiting capability and then to speed up its convergence. This enhanced version of NSGA-II (ENSGA) is examined on IEEE 30 system. Experimental results show that the use of LSSs clearly improved the performance of NSGA-II. ENSGA shows the best search efficiency and is proved to be one of the efficient potential candidates in solving reactive power optimization in the real-time operation systems.