Mizoram kept up its tradition of high voting Monday,with people queuing up at polling stations even before they opened at 7 am and the turnout poised to cross last times count once all votes are taken into account.
Tentative calculations showed a turnout of 81.48 per cent but this was without taking into account service votes and postal ballots. This is ahead of last times 80.02 per cent without these sections and poll officials are optimistic the final count will exceed last times final turnout of 82.35 per cent.
There was no incident of violence in spite of some alleged militant activity in the northern regions where some armed groups from Manipur are active. The turnout in the three seats there,too,was estimated to be around 80 per cent till late afternoon,according to CEO Ashwani Kumar.
The presidents of all main parties except the Mizo National Fronts Zoramthanga (East Tuipui,near the Indo-Myanmar border) voted in their home constituencies in Aizawl. While ZNP president Lalduhoma and MPC president Lalhmangaiha Sailo voted almost as soon as the polling stations opened Congress CM Lal Thanhawla cast his vote around 9.45 am.
The incumbent said he expects a thumping majority for his party,which currently holds 32 of 40 seats in the assembly.
The election process was said to be smooth overall,apart from small hiccups in a few polling stations. One polling stations presiding officer reportedly hit the end button by mistake when only a few score voters had cast their votes,but he quickly compensated by using a spare EVM. Another presiding officer did not reset the EVM after the mock polls and commenced normal voting,but will subtract the votes cast in the mock exercise.
Some 22 paper audit machines,used for the first time in a general election in 10 constituencies within Aizawl district,were replaced almost immediately as they were found unfit during the mock polls,while 23 EVMs were reportedly replaced for the same reasons.