A Facebook page was created for people to note if they voted Zehut at certain polling stations in the West Bank..
(photo credit: screenshot)
Several right-wing groups complained on Wednesday of possible Arab voter fraud, when they saw instances of sizable votes for Arab parties in settlements consisting of right-wing Jews.
There were also complaints that voter numbers did not tally.
Was there actual fraud or a range of computer and human errors which led to the questionable results?
As of late Wednesday, the Yesha Council said that errors it had reported to the Central Elections Committee would be fixed in the coming hours.
The council said that its review of what appeared to be errors relating to voter totals and patterns in the Judea region had shown that the problem likely resulted from the accidental referencing of voter rolls from 2015 as opposed to updated ones.
The statement said that the basic information appearing on the committee website regarding “the number of voters eligible to vote” were in fact correct, but that the percentages appeared to be incorrect because of a rise in actual voters since 2015 and the mistaken use of 2015 voter rolls for comparisons.
Further, the council said that it might be ready to accept the committee’s explanation that the incorrect references to Arab votes in a few settlements had come from a typing error by a committee official.
Earlier Wednesday, the council said it did not accept the committee’s explanation, and later in the day noted that the committee’s chairman, Supreme Court Deputy President Hanan Melcer, would be reviewing the issue.
According to the council, Melcer would rule on the issue shortly.
Yesha Council chairman Yigal Dilmoni said he viewed “the publicizing of accurate results from the settlements [in the West Bank] as important.”
But it was unclear if that resolved all of the objections and accusations of possible voter fraud by Arabs.
In addition on Wednesday, New Right Party leader Naftali Bennett asked his followers to contact the committee about voting irregularities.
He noted that 13 votes were recorded for Arab parties in the ideologically right-wing settlement of Bat Ayin as one of the irregularities.
Bennett said that the New Right “would not give in. We will fight as long as we can.”
Also on Wednesday, Zehut activists sent messages to residents of the West Bank, calling on them to report on Facebook if and where they had voted for Zehut.
“Due to Zehut ballots being replaced by Arab ballots and other Zehut ballots going missing, anyone who voted for Zehut should report to the Facebook link above where they voted and which ballot number.”
In Itamar, the Arab party Hadash-Ta’al got 11.58% of the vote, while Jewish-Israeli parties like the New Right, led by Bennett, received 10.91% of the votes, according to the committee.
In Be’er Ganim north of Ashkelon, a voting rate of 568% was recorded. In the Brukhin settlement in Samaria, according to the website, 167% of the registered voters allegedly cast a ballot, and in Negohot in the South Hebron Hills 143%.
There were also irregularities in the Bedouin sector, with the village of Al-Sayyid registering a voting rate of 147%, Abu-Krinat 138%, Bir Hadaj 117%, and Bakr al-Sir with a voter turnout of 111%.
The committee told The Jerusalem Post that the issues were under review.Benjy Singer contributed to this report.
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