Preparations have been completed for counting of votes for the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra on May 23, said officials on Tuesday. A total of 98,430 electronic voting machines (EVMs) were used for the four phases of polls in the state, and counting will take place in 48 counting centres at 38 locations across the state.

Maharashtra, which has the highest number of Lok Sabha seats after Uttar Pradesh’s 80, went to polls on April 11, 18, 23 and 29.

The voting percentage in the 2019 general elections was 60.80, a slight increase from 60.32 per cent recorded in 2014, official data showed.

The 2019 Lok Sabha polls saw 867 candidates in the fray.

“Counting will begin at 8 am and trends are likely to start coming in by afternoon and results by 4 pm,” an official said.

“Counting personnel will randomly select five EVMS from each Assembly segment for VVPAT (voter-verified paper audit trail) checking. In case a candidate demands a particular EVM be chosen, it will be done and one of the voting machines randomly chosen will be dropped,” he informed.

He said information and trends would be uploaded on the website ceo.maharashtra.gov.in as well as on toll-free number 1950, adding that a control room had been set up at Mantralaya for the media.

“Several digital hoardings will be set up in different locations at Mantralaya. For the first time, the election trends and results will be seen on digital signboards of the Traffic Police department as well. At the district level, information will be provided after every round of counting,” the official said.

Union ministers Nitin Gadkari (Nagpur), Hansraj Ahir (Chandrapur), Subhash Bhamre (Dhule), Anant Gite (Raigad), Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan (Nanded) and former Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde (Solapur) were among the key contestants.