Likud hired 1,200 activists with hidden cameras to monitor election fraud

A young man was caught on Tuesday morning in Rahat trying to hide a hidden camera in an attempt to disqualify one of the polling stations.

By YASSER OKBI/MAARIV, ARIK BENDER/MAARIV
April 9, 2019 15:20
2 minute read.
Likud hired 1,200 activists with hidden cameras to monitor election fraud

An Israeli Arab stands behind a voting booth before casting her ballot at a polling station in the northern town of Umm el-Fahm March 17, 2015. Millions of Israelis turned out to vote on Tuesday in a tightly-fought election, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu facing an uphill battle to defeat a . (photo credit: AMMAR AWAD / REUTERS)

The Likud confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that it hired 1,200 election day polling-station observers, and gave them hidden cameras, saying it has done so in a bid to expose voter fraud.

However, earlier on Tuesday, Central Elections Committee chairman Justice Hanan Melcer made it clear that it is illegal to secretly film voters on Election Day.

The revelation comes after the committee tightened guidelines on what is permitted and what is not permitted at the polling stations, following the capture of hidden cameras in several Arab towns in the North and in Rahat in the South.

A young man was caught on Tuesday morning in Rahat trying to hide a hidden camera in an attempt to disqualify one of the polling stations.

The police detained the boy who caused a scene, and activists asked police to go around to all the schools and search for suspicious individuals.

Apparently there are about five detainees in Rahat following the hidden cameras debacle.

"A notice to the Secretaries of the Legal Counsel to the Central Elections Committee Members of the Ballot Committee and/or other officials, including the Secretary: It is forbidden to photograph voters or the voting process," the Elections Committee said. "It is permitted to take photographs only in cases of exceptional events in order to report an incident, and in the event of a forbidden photograph, the police or the committee's representatives must be updated and [the incident] reported to the committee's event management room."

The police said that "following a number of suspected irregularities in polling stations in the northern region, the police are working in these focal points, in coordination with the Elections Committee, in order to maintain public order and prevent harm to the integrity of the elections and the secrecy of the vote."

The Hadash Tal list submitted an urgent complaint to the Elections Committee requesting that it "immediately remove the cameras that were installed illegally by right-wing activists in the polling stations in the Arab communities."

Hadash Tal claimed that "the extreme Right understands our power well in overthrowing the government and has crossed every border, using illegal means in an attempt to intervene and prevent Arab citizens from voting - but we, too, understand our strength."

The Balad Party added that it had "received a message that right-wing activists are disrupting the electoral process in Arab towns by means of wiretapping and hidden cameras [in order] to deter the Arab public from voting... We do not give in to the attempts to delegitimize us."

Ilanit Chernick contributed to this report.



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