Elections czar says there was no foreign interference in September elections
search

Elections czar says there was no foreign interference in September elections

Hanan Melcer positively cites Israel’s use of paper ballots rather than computerized system, says anonymous campaign ads on social media went way down after ban

Supreme Court Justice Hanan Melcer, the chairman of the Central Elections Committee, presents the official results of the elections for the 22nd Knesset to President Reuven Rivlin (unseen), at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, September 25, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Supreme Court Justice Hanan Melcer, the chairman of the Central Elections Committee, presents the official results of the elections for the 22nd Knesset to President Reuven Rivlin (unseen), at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, September 25, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The head of the Central Elections Committee said Saturday there was no evidence of foreign meddling in Israel’s latest elections.

“Foreign interference in the election campaign didn’t succeed in Israel,” Supreme Court Justice Hanan Melcer said at a legal conference in Haifa, according to Channel 13 news.

He positively cited the use of paper ballots in Israel rather than a computerized voting system, which is “easier to manipulate.”

Though foreign actors failed to interfere in the vote, “we always give another opportunity,” the Walla news site reported Melcer said with a smile, referring to possible third elections in less than a year.

He also said there was a 70 percent drop in anonymous campaign advertisements on social media after they were barred.

A member of the Israeli Druze community casts her ballot during Israel’s parliamentary elections on September 17, 2019, in Daliyat al-Karmel in northern Israel. (Jalaa Marey/AFP)

Melcer was Central Elections Committee chairman during the two rounds of voting in April and September, both of which resulted in a “hung” Knesset, with no party able to form a majority together with its allies.

He has said there is “no chance” he will again head the committee if there are indeed third elections, which will be automatically called if no lawmaker secures backing to form a government from a majority of Knesset members by the December 11 deadline.

Nadav Argaman outside his home on February 11, 2016. (Flash90)

Ahead of the April elections, the chief of the Shin Bet security serves warned a foreign country intended to interfere in the vote through cyberattacks. The country named by Nadav Argaman was barred from publication by the military censor.

Russia later denied it was planning to interfere in the Israeli election, with a Kremlin spokesman claiming Moscow has never meddled in any country’s elections.

US intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential elections on behalf of Donald Trump.

Following Argaman’s remarks, the Shin Bet said it would not allow any outside meddling in the the elections and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said no country was better prepared than Israel to deal with election-related hacking.

read more:
comments