Meretz’s leadership race next Tuesday will feature a sophisticated new
electronic system that could be a model for electronic voting around the
Called the Wombat voting system, it was developed by the
Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya and Tel Aviv University students using a code
written by international cryptography expert Douglas Wikstrom of the Royal
Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm.
“It’s a new concept that
allows both privacy and credibility,” said Dr. Alon Rosen of IDC Herzliya, one
of Wombat’s project leaders.
After the problems with print ballots in the
2000 US election between George W. Bush and Al Gore, he said, various electronic
voting systems were tried in American elections.
But the systems failed
so badly that states passed laws banning electronic voting.
Rosen, Wombat has both the credibility of an electronic system and the paper
trail of old-style voting. So far, it has only been used for an IDC
Herzliya student council election.
In an additional technological
innovation, Meretz will stream the winner’s victory speech online.
the 1,000 members of Meretz’s governing council will be eligible to participate
in voting at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds.
The candidates – MKs Zehava Gal-On
and Ilan Gilon and party activist Uri Ophir – would each take the party in a
different direction. If Gal-On wins, Meretz is expected to emphasize diplomatic
and civic matters, while Gilon’s focus is on socioeconomic issues.
MKs have not made much news in recent years. Whoever wins the race will
try to raise the party’s profile.
“We need to go back to being
anti-establishment and inyour- face,” said Nitzan Horowitz, the only one of the
three Meretz MKs who is not running. “There are a lot of nice people in
politics. We need to stop being nice.”