An Israeli flag is seen in the background as a man casts his ballot for the parliamentary election.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
There were fundamental flaws in voting and vote-counting at two polling stations in Kfar Kasim, near Rosh Ha’ayin, Central Elections Committee chairman Justice Salim Joubran ruled on Tuesday, disqualifying the ballots.
The ballots will not be included in the final vote count for the March 17 general election, and Joubran’s ruling was sent to the police to investigate suspicions of harm to the integrity of the election.
The Central Elections Committee had 60 people, including committee members and legal advisers, investigate 233 possibly problematic polling stations, in order to ensure that the results of the election reflect the will of the voters as well as possible.
The investigators reviewed 26 polling stations about which they received complaints on Election Day from the public, party representatives, local committees or police; 97 stations in which the voting rate was unusually high, reaching over 90 percent; 19 stations about which the committee received complaints after Election Day that their results did not make sense; and 91 stations that the committee’s computer system found may have been counted improperly due to human error.
Of those ballots, 40 were found to be problematic after a basic review, and underwent an in-depth investigation of all ballot materials. In the end, only the two from Kfar Kasim were disqualified. Another, in Taibe, was referred to the police for investigation, although the committee did not disqualify it.
“There is no doubt that the actions taken by the Central Elections Committee, including the investigation process and the few [invalid stations] they found, show the strength of Israeli democracy and the quality of the means of supervision at the polls, according to the Election Law,” the committee spokesman said.
“It seems to me that the Israeli voter can be proud of the strength of the democratic process and the comprehensive processes to protect it,” he added.
Shomron Residents Committee director-general Sagi Kaisler organized efforts to have right-wing parties represented at polling places in Arab towns on Election Day. In hidden-camera videos shown on Channel 2 News last week, some of the observers were asked by local representatives to either cooperate in faking the results, or to leave while the locals did so.
“There is nothing new under the sun, but it is strange that the Elections Committee chose to ignore our large operation that prevented forgeries of thousands of votes,” Kaisler said.
Kaisler plans to prepare a report on the observers’ findings “that will shake the country and expose the truth,” which he will present to Likud MK Yariv Levin, who helped him with his efforts.