Likud has majority for bill on cameras in polling stations

The new bill would enable the party to bypass a ruling by the head of the Central Elections Committee.

August 27, 2019 19:14
1 minute read.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voting at the elections

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voting at the elections. (photo credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO)

The Likud party intends to convene the Knesset in a special session next week to pass a bill that would enable the party to use cameras in polling stations, party officials said on Tuesday.

The new bill would enable the party to bypass a ruling by  the head of the Central Elections Committee, Supreme Court Judge Hanan Melcer, on  Monday prohibiting the cameras. Melcer ruled that for parties to systematically use cameras at polling stations, legislation would be needed.

Yisrael Beytenu agreed to join the 59 MKs in the outgoing coalition to give the bill a majority. Melcer told Army Radio on Tuesday that a bill to bypass his decision in the middle of an election would be unacceptable.

Another possibility considered by Likud was to appeal Melcer's decision to the Supreme Court. Acting Justice Minister Amir Ohana (Likud) said the Likud's legal adviser would consider the appeal.    

The Likud warned that without the cameras there would be fraud in the Arab polling stations. The Likud's opponents countered that the party is trying to discourage Arabs from voting. Democratic Union leader Nitzan Horowitz praised Melcer's ruling as "a victory over the Likud's scare tactics." 

Melcer wrote in his ruling that he would be in favor of a pilot program in which the Central Elections Committee would send out staff with cameras to ensure voting takes place without any wrongdoing.  The Likud's representative on Melcer's committee, MK David Bitan, said Tuesday that there would have to be many more cameras than Melcer was planning.

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