Parties’ voter fraud complaints start early

Yisrael Beytenu, Yamina complain of irregularities at the polls.

Voting in Israel   (photo credit: REUTERS)
Voting in Israel
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A polling station in Umm al-Fahm was closed after an election observer attempted to illegally film the goings-on on Tuesday morning.
The observer was replaced and then the ballot was re-opened, police reported.
The Joint List provided a video of the observer being escorted from the polling station. He was likely from United Torah Judaism, and dressed in the garb of a non-hassidic “Litvak” haredi.
The incident came after, in the runup to the election, the Likud campaign put an emphasis on voter fraud allegations, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that there has been an attempt to “steal the election.”
The Likud’s voter fraud prevention efforts focused exclusively on Arab areas and included a failed attempt to pass a law allowing party-appointed election observers to bring cameras into polling stations, but not voting booths. In addition, a group of settler leaders raised funds to send people to stand outside polling stations in Arab towns, saying they would protect observers.
The police also received a complaint of a 40-year-old man trying to vote under someone else’s name in Kafr Kassem. The man was stopped for questioning.
Meanwhile, various parties began complaining of irregularities at polling stations in the first hours of voting.
According to Yamina, voting slips for their party were replaced with slips for the New Right from April at a polling station in Hadera. The New Right is one of three parties running in the Yamina bloc, but it ran alone earlier this year.
Yisrael Beytenu said there was fraud in two polling stations in Ashdod. In one, its voting slips were covered, and in another, voters were told not to sealed their envelopes shut. Votes in unsealed envelopes still count, though it makes them more susceptible to sabotage.
In addition, Yisrael Beytenu said that their party’s slips were removed from a polling place in Arad. They blamed Gur Hassids, who support UTJ, for the wrongdoing.
Shas reported that, in Herzliya, haredi women were not permitted to vote because the ballot secretary said she could not recognize them with their head coverings on.
Labor-Gesher said that a polling station in Bnei Brak was missing slips for their party and voters were told that the party won’t pass the electoral threshold.
All the incidents were reported to the Central Elections Committee. Yamina asked that the New Right slips be counted for their list.
These kinds of incidents are not unusual and occur sporadically in Israeli elections.
Meanwhile, parties petitioned the Central Election Committee against each other’s Election Day campaign efforts.
Central Election Committee chairman and Supreme Court Vice President Hanan Melcer stopped the Likud from operating an ice cream truck and giving out free frozen treats to voters, and Blue and White from leading a parade in Tel Aviv.
Democratic Union petitioned against Shas distributing prayer books and good luck charms, which are illegal election gifts.