Three extra votes: New Right remains out of Knesset in final vote count

Central Elections Committee found no irregularities in ballot boxes it reviewed following complaints from Bennett.

April 16, 2019 18:21
1 minute read.
The New Right's Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked walk off after exit polls show they won't enter th

The New Right's Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked walk off after exit polls show they won't enter the 21st Knesset. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)


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The New Right will remain out of the 21st Knesset, after no major problems were found in dozens of ballot boxes reviewed a second time at the request of New Right leader Naftali Bennett.

Hundreds of New Right volunteers spent days poring through ballot protocols to try to find flaws that would help the party get into the Knesset. New Right was only about 1,400 votes below the 3.25% electoral threshold.

Bennett complained to the Central Elections Committee that votes were missing from dozens of ballot boxes, and they were re-examined.

“No significant flaws were found,” the committee stated on Tuesday. “In counting the votes from dozens of ballot boxes, it was found that the New Right was given three extra votes.”

Earlier this week, the New Right claimed that large numbers of votes for the party were disqualified, and asked Central Elections Committee chairman Judge Hanan Melcer to intervene.

The committee found that only one New Right vote was disqualified “for a reason listed in the law,” the committee’s spokesman said.

The New Right disputed the Central Elections Committee’s findings, saying that “gaps were found in 8% of ballot booths, including severe fraud.” The party also criticized the committee for making a statement, because it is still reviewing protocols.

According to the New Right, there were polling places in which all of the party’s votes were erased from the Central Election Committee’s computers, which the committee denies.

In addition, the party said that they did not receive protocols from 10% of the ballot boxes about which they submitted complaints, and could not review them.

The committee released an example of a poll in Afula, in which the committee website shows New Right receiving 14 votes, but the handwritten protocol has the party receiving zero.

On Monday, as New Right volunteers reviewed ballot protocols in the party’s headquarters in Bnei Brak, Bennett wrote on Facebook: “It’s important for me to note that Judge Melcer, the Legal Adviser of the Elections Committee Dean Livneh and the entire staff... have been acting fairly, professionally and transparently.

“I do not see any signs of an attempt at a cover-up. The opposite is true. I only see striving for the truth and expression of the will of the voters,” Bennett said. “I express deep thanks for that.”

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