The Election Commission has made elaborate arrangements for the counting of votes scheduled for Monday, after more than 80 per cent of the 6,90,860 electors voted in the November 25 elections for the 40-seat Mizoram Assembly.

The Election Commission has made it clear that the NOTA (None of the Above) option, which the voters used to reject all the candidates, will not be counted as a valid vote while it decides on the return of security deposits to candidates.

In all, 142 candidates, including six women, are in the fray. The Congress, led by Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, has contested all the seats as has the Mizoram Democratic Alliance (MDA). The Mizo National Front (MNF), a constituent of the MDA, has put up candidates in 31 seats, the Mizoram People’s Conference (MPC) in eight and the Maraland Democratic Front (MDF) in one. The Zoram Nationalist Party has fielded its candidates in 38 seats, while the BJP is contesting in 17 seats. Two Nationalists Congress Party and one Jai Maha Bharath Party nominees and four independents are also in the fray.

For the first time, the Election Commission used Verifiable Paper Audit Trail in 217 polling booths of 10 constituencies. Under it, voters can see a printout to ensure that their votes are rightly registered in the EVM, but they cannot take it home.