The Central Elections Committee on Sunday clarified that it “views with great seriousness the dissemination of misrepresentations by the New Right party, according to which there were irregularities in counting the votes in the double envelopes.” Double envelopes were used in several hundred thousand polling stations that served mainly IDF soldiers. This allows committee employees to verify that the soldiers in question did not also vote in their home polling booths.
Committee chairman Judge Hanan Melcer said that he had permitted New Right representatives to review materials from the polls. New Right officials stated over the weekend that they were trying to change the results that stranded the party leaders Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked outside the Knesset.
“We are not giving up,” one official told Ha’aretz. “This week we will receive the [polling stations’] protocols, and hundreds of our volunteers will compare them to the computerized results. We will also deal with all the extreme irregularities discovered in counting the double envelopes. We will accept the voter’s decision but we will not give up until we know what that decision really was.”
Moshe Feiglin’s Zehut Party has sent an SMS to party loyalists, saying 436 volunteers will be checking the results from 11,500 suspected polls this week. The party said it needed as many as 500 volunteers to complete the task in time.
By law, party representatives can alert the committee to mishaps in the vote count until Wednesday, when the sealed official results will be delivered to the president.
At the same time, the Elections Committee has announced that parties would be able to appeal the results to the Administrative Court in Jerusalem until May 1.
The New Right party acted immediately following the closing of the polls to locate thousands of seemingly lost voters in the double envelopes, in an attempt to help the party cross the vote threshold and enter the Knesset. On Thursday night, Chairman Melcer published the results, admitting there had been technical errors in the count.
Melcer also stated, “These are not the official results … These are interim results that are still subject to changes and adjustments.”
According to the committee’s announcement, a day after the elections, representatives of the New Right began to contact senior members of the Central Elections Committee to clarify their claims. “Chairman Melcer allowed the representatives of the New Right to review material from the special ballot boxes in an exceptional manner and outside the letter of the law.”
Judge Melcer wrote that “every request by the representatives of the New Right, by any means, was examined immediately upon receipt, without requiring formal forms and procedures.”