IvoteIsrael refuses to share voter data with Republicans

IvoteIsrael national director Eitan Charnoff responded that his campaign has no interest in taking a side.

August 22, 2016 23:32
2 minute read.
COLORADO RESIDENTS vote in the US midterm elections last week

COLORADO RESIDENTS vote in the US midterm elections. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The non-partisan IvoteIsrael campaign rejected a request from the Republicans Overseas Israel organization for its database of Americans in Israel who are eligible to vote in the November 8 US election, even though a majority of IvoteIsrael's donors in the past have been Republican, The Jerusalem Post learned Monday.

Republicans Overseas Israel chairman Marc Zell confirmed that he has repeatedly asked IvoteIsrael to provide data to both the Republicans and Democrats over the past few years. IvoteIsrael, which claims to have facilitated the voting of 80,000 voters in the 2012 presidential election, says it has the information to reach tens of thousands of voters.

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"Their decision to not provide the information is inconsistent with the electoral process," Zell said. "I don't know what their motivation is. I think it's a mistake on their part."

IvoteIsrael national director Eitan Charnoff responded that his campaign has no interest in taking a side.

"Our donors know we are non-partisan, not bipartisan, so we will never share information that will help parties solicit voters," Charnoff said. "Sharing my information with both parties or either party would be detrimental to my image as non-partisan and disuade people from requesting a ballot because they would feel solicited indirectly by a party."

Charnoff said the only organization he shares information with is the Overseas Voter Foundation, which is completely non-partisan and respected American organization.

IvoteIsrael's refusal to provide information to the Republicans came despite it being known that a majority of the organization's initial donors were Republican when it was founded in 2012 at a time when there was motivation on the part of many Israelis to block the re-election of US president Barack Obama. However, there were well-known Democrats who also contributed.

The website of IvoteIsrael calls the campaign a project of Americans For Jerusalem Ltd, whose tax records list its principal officer as David Goder. Goder is the director of SecureAmericaNow, a politically conservative nonprofit group that focuses on United States foreign policy issues and campaigned against the Iranian nuclear deal.

"We are now a nationwide army of Democrats, Republicans, Independents, conservatives and liberals who share a common concern about our security and our liberty," the organization's website says.

"We know the stakes and we won't back down." Goder is close to right-wing American talk show host Sean Hannity and went with him to Jerusalem two weeks ago. His main role in IvoteIsrael was helping the organization's founding for tax purposes in the United States. Americans for Jerusalem's tax information connect the organization to another Republican, Nelson Warfield.

"In a heightened political environment it is not uncommon for partisan entities to go after nonpartisan entities because they could be perceived as a threat to the effort," Charnoff said in response to charges his organization is mostly Republican-funded.

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