Head of central elections committee Judge Hanan Melczer .
(photo credit: NOAM MOSKOWITZ)
The Central Elections Committee needs its own law enforcement department, committee head and Supreme Court Judge Hanan Melczer said on Sunday in an address in which he lamented his inability to run the April 9 election.
Melczer spoke at an Israel Democracy Institute conference in Jerusalem titled “Lessons learned and looking to the future of electoral laws.” The conference was also addressed by IDI researchers, MKs and representatives of Facebook, the Justice Ministry, the State Comptroller’s Office and the Israel Police.
Among the lessons Melczer said he learned from the election were that bots must be fought; that the battle against cyberattacks requires more resources; and that polls taken anonymously or without acceptable statistical approaches must be forbidden.
“Unprofessional polls have an impact on voting that cannot be underestimated,” Melczer said. “It is hard to enforce. I want a small enforcement department, subordinate to the chairman.”
Melczer also lamented a law that requires him to personally interview every member of a Knesset list that quits ahead of an election. He noted that there were initially 47 lists that ran, and when a party chairman decided not to run the list, there were times that a candidate far down on the list would ask if he could now move up to become first.
“I had to interview 140 people to make sure they are leaving out of free will,” he said. “I had better things to do.”
Melczer said another phenomenon in the election that he disapproved of was parties being purchased ahead of the election to run with. The New Right and other parties took that step, which Melczer said should be prohibited.
He praised Facebook and its director of Israel Policy, Jordana Cutler, for taking steps to ensure that the website would not be used to break Israel’s election laws.
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