Central Elections Committee: Only one New Right ballot was disqualified

The New Right had expressed hope it would still get into the Knesset, and Zehut called the election “stolen,” after both parties remained below the 3.25% electoral threshold.

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April 15, 2019 03:42
3 minute read.
Central Elections Committee: Only one New Right ballot was disqualified

Leaders of Hayamin Hechadash Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

 
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Only one New Right Party vote was disqualified in the election, the Central Elections Committee said Sunday night, after performing its usual review to ensure the integrity of the election.

The New Right had expressed hope that it would still get into the Knesset, and Zehut called the election “stolen,” after both parties remained below the 3.25% electoral threshold in last week’s vote count.

The committee released a statement earlier in the day saying that New Right was misrepresenting the situation in claiming there had been irregularities in counting the “double envelope” votes, which include those from soldiers and diplomats, among others.

“Immediately after Election Day, the most senior representatives of the New Right were in touch with senior officials in the committee to look into their claims,” the statement read. “Central Elections Committee chairman and Supreme Court Vice-President Judge Hanan Melcer allowed, in an unusual move... New Right representatives to look at materials from the special votes. In addition, every request from New Right representatives... was immediately checked after being received.”

On Sunday, the committee began the two-day effort it undertakes after every election, examining a sample of 400 ballot boxes from across the country to see if there were mistakes in how ballots were counted.

The committee emphasized that: “This is a routine review and not a result of the discussion in recent days.”

Still, the New Right continued to hope that it could end up with the 4,300 votes that it would need to get into the Knesset.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked thanked the party’s supporters on Facebook late Saturday night, writing, “In the coming week, we will review with hundreds of volunteers the different ballot boxes to check if there were mistakes or irregularities. No party has ever dropped below the electoral threshold because of such a small number of votes, and therefore we will make an effort to fill the gap. This is an effort that anyone who bothered to vote for us on Election Day deserves.”

Shaked did not mention her party co-leader, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, in what some saw as a sign of a rift between the longtime political partners.


Likud MK David Bitan, a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said the premier instructed him to do what he can, as a member of the Central Elections Committee, to help the New Right.

Bitan, a longtime Shaked supporter, also said in an interview with Channel 12 that he thinks Netanyahu should appoint her as a minister in the next government.

Shaked’s spokesman denied a report that said she is on the way to joining the Likud, the party of which she was a central committee member before entering electoral politics, saying she is waiting for the final vote results before deciding on her next step.

On Friday, the New Right said it had given the Central Elections Committee reports of over 1,000 problems in voting and vote-counting.

“We are not giving up,” the party said, claiming there were “extreme irregularities” in counting the double envelopes.

Zehut sent a text message to supporters on Saturday night asking: “Do you too feel that something bad is happening here? Do you also feel like your vote was stolen?”

The party, led by former Likud MK Moshe Feiglin, asked for at least 500 volunteers to help review the protocols from every voting booth across the country to look for problems.

“There is a great suspicion of falsified ballots to an extent never seen before,” Zehut said.

Tamar Beeri contributed to this report.

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