Report: Chief Justice Meltzer expected to introduce cameras to the ballots

This is a dramatic decision that stems from a fear of political interests skewing the election results in different ballot boxes by faking votes.

By IDAN ZONSHINE
August 26, 2019 19:38
1 minute read.
Report: Chief Justice Meltzer expected to introduce cameras to the ballots

People sort ballot boxes as part of preparations for the upcoming Israeli election, during a briefing for members of the media at the Israel Central Election Committee Logistics Center in Shoham, Israel. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Chairman of the Election Comittee and Supreme Court Chief Justice Hanan Meltzer is expected to announce on Monday evening a precedential decision to allow documentation of ballot counting in the next election in over one thousand ballots across Israel, out of a possible 14 thousand, reports journalist Moti Gilat on Kan Bet radio station Monday afternoon.

This is a dramatic decision that stems from a fear of political interests skewing the election results in different ballot boxes by faking votes. The new precedent is mainly a preventative deterrent, and will hopefully not be necessary in the coming election.

Some of the monitored ballots will be chosen at random, and others will be specifically chosen by the Election Comittee.

The report was clear in its statement that this is merely a documentation of the counting process, and the voting process itself will remain private. In addition, Meltzer is expected to announce a special task force of a few hundred inspectors making surprise visits to ballot boxes across the country to ensure the purity of the results.

In response, a source in Netanyahu's Likud party claimed that "the leak from the Central Election Committee, if it turns out to be true, may be the best explanation for why cameras should be placed in the ballot boxes for the voting and counting processes. If the Central Election Committee, that runs out of the Knesset under top security conditions, doesn't have the proper cyber security qualifications for such sensitive information as a supreme court justice's ruling, then it's clear why such heavy concerns exist about the lack of proper cyber security in ballots."

MK Oded Forer from the Yisrael Beytenu party also responded to the report: "We welcome the decision to add cameras to randomly assigned ballots during the counting process, but that alone is not enough. There is a fear of voter fraud during the voting stage aswell, mainly in homogenic balllot boxes such as in the Arab or Haredi communities. We've already been exposed to deals regarding the Arab and Haredi parties having activist 'election monitors' positioned outside of ballots."

Forer elaborated: "That is why we plan on mobilizing a specialized volunteer project wherein activists work as 'election monitors' on behalf of the party in Haredi and Arabic neighborhoods to monitor and prevent ballot fraud."


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