In a revolutionary decision, The Jerusalem District Court overturned the October Municipal elections in Beit Shemesh. There will be new elections, both for the mayor and for the city council.
The court evaluated evidence of widespread and organized voter fraud – and concluded that the democratic process had been undermined, to the extent that the election results, with less than 1000 votes separating the winner, Moshe Abutbol, from contender Eli Cohen, are invalid.
This is the culmination of a two month legal process, which was sparked by the discovery by police of large quantities of ID cards in a private apartment in Beit Shemesh, and more ID’s in a vehicle, on election day – and the arrest of eight residents.
The criminal investigation was handed over to the national organized crime unit – and a large, well organized voting scam was revealed. The scam included organized collecting of ID cards, particularly of residents who were not planning to vote, such as they would be travelling, and included placing ID collection boxes in several synagogues, and payment of incentives to participants.
Meantime, both the Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and Eli Cohen submitted appeals to the Jerusalem District Court, asking to cancel the election results, presenting copious evidence of organized election fraud on a large scale.
The dilemma the court addressed was to decide whether a smaller quantity of reasonably proven fraudulent votes (less than 1000) entitles the court to over-rule the whole election.
The answer delivered today was a clear Yes.
In the decision of the three man court, District Court President David Hasin declared that the wide extent and severe nature of the election illegalities shown to the court had undermined the whole democratic process in Beit Shemesh.
For residents of Beit Shemesh, the message is clear: Democracy and Justice now rules in Beit Shemesh!