Re-poll after polling officer was found instructing voters to "press the third button" on election day. (IE Photo)
Aizawl, Nov 29 : The first re-poll in Mizoram's electoral history completed successfully Thursday at the Republic 1 polling station within the Aizawl South 1 assembly constituency, with 869 of the 1104 registered voters turning up to exercise their franchise (turnout 78.71 percent).
Joint CEO H Lalengmawia was present with other officials on the ground to oversee the process while election watchdog Mizoram People's Forum volunteers enforced strict conduct rules, even barring people from shaking hands in the polling area or using cellphones.
The ECI had ordered a re-poll at this particular polling station after a polling officer, Vicky Lalnunthara, was arrested on poll day for instructing voters to "press the third button" on the EVM, a slot allotted to Congress candidate Vanlalvena. An analysis later in the day had also found discrepancies in the number of votes, entries in form 17A and number of voter slips collected.
Besides respective party workers, party leaders including Congress CM Lal Thanhawla, MNF President Zoramthanga and several MLA candidates from different parties were also in the vicinity on Thursday as polling went underway.
Meanwhile, Aizawl DEO Dr Franklin Laltinkhuma and election officials opened the strong room at Pachhunga University College on Thursday morning to re-check an EVM after the presiding officer of Sihphir, within the Aizawl East 1 constituency, confessed Wednesday that he had forgotten to erase the mock-poll entries and proceeded with normal voting. The discrepancy is being sorted using records of the VVPAT but final instructions from the ECI is expected.
Action is likely to be taken soon against the presiding officers of both Republic 1 and Sihphir polling stations, officials said.