Bayit Yehudi to re-count primary votes

Move to come following complaints by candidates of discrepancies.

By
January 19, 2015 20:33
1 minute read.
Naftali Bennett

Nafatali Bennett votes in Bayit Yehudi primary. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Bayit Yehudi recounted votes from last week’s primary overnight Monday, following complaints of discrepancies by candidates.

No changes were expected in the list’s top 20, however.

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About 42,000 people voted in the primary, each with 10 points that could be distributed to seven candidates – three with two points each and four with one points each.

The final vote count showed that there were over 470,000 points counted, meaning there were nearly 50,000 extra.

A Bayit Yehudi spokesman said the party checked the counting system, including undertaking several trial counts, and found that it is not broken and there is no suspicion that the primary results were wrong.

However, the Bayit Yehudi election committee decided to recount the ballots out of respect for the efforts and resources invested by primary candidates.

Any candidate who wished to do so was allowed to send observers to the recount and the party appointed an external observer.

The party explained the gap by saying the computer that counted the votes did not disqualify those who voted for seven candidates but were confused by how many get two points and how many one. In such cases, the computer was supposed to give all the candidates the voter chose one point, but an error occurred, giving them two points.

Shimon Riklin, who reached the 23rd spot on the Bayit Yehudi list, petitioned the Central District Court to force the party to hold a recount on Monday morning.

“I told them I will help the party run,” Riklin said, despite his unrealistic ranking. “They sent me to conference. I’m not a complainer, but this is unbelievable.

It’s an outrage.”

“I insist that all the forms be counted again and that [candidates] be told what is really happening,” he wrote on Facebook. “Otherwise, something stinks here.”

Riklin and other candidates complained of a lack of transparency in the vote counting before the primary and, as such, three observers, approved by a majority of candidates were allowed to watch as the votes were counted.

Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.


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