New anti-fraud measures will mean a (slightly) longer wait for election results
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New anti-fraud measures will mean a (slightly) longer wait for election results

Vote counting process now to take four to five extra hours, says Central Elections Committee chairwoman Orly Adas

The Central Elections Committee counts the remaining ballots from soldiers and absentee voters at the Knesset in Jerusalem,, April 10, 2019. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)
The Central Elections Committee counts the remaining ballots from soldiers and absentee voters at the Knesset in Jerusalem,, April 10, 2019. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

The release of the results of September’s Knesset election will be delayed by several hours due to new vote counting procedures, Central Elections Committee chairwoman Orly Adas announced on Thursday.

The new measures are intended to safeguard against fraud and miscounts, Adas told the Kan public broadcaster, estimating a delay of “at least four to five hours.”

The new procedures will include additional stages of reading the results at polling places and regional electoral headquarters, she said.

Authorities generally begin publishing results from polling stations before midnight on election day, with the counting continuing until the middle of the next day.

After the count, the results must still be certified, a process that often takes several days.

An investigation published last week by the Haaretz daily found that April’s election was “riddled with irregularities and suspected voting fraud.”

Among its findings were that “oversight at polling stations was inadequate” and that in over a thousand precincts there were no representatives of opposition parties on the committees overseeing the balloting.

“Even though many precincts did report irregularities, none of the vote tallies from the 10,000 or so precincts around the country were disqualified in the April election or even flagged as problematic by a judge,” Haaretz reported.

An Arab Israeli man (L) registers before voting in elections for the Knesset on April 9, 2019, at a school turned polling station in the northern town of Tayibe. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)

The Likud party has sought to arm its election observers with cameras in polling stations in Arab-majority areas as an anti-fraud measure, though critics say the cameras are being used to dampen turnout in the community.

The committee is set to lay out rules for the use of cameras after a Likud request.

Adas did not address the issue.

Yisrael Beytenu MK Oded Forer told Channel 12 news on Wednesday he intends to ask the Central Elections Committee to install cameras at polling stations in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods to “make sure that the ultra-Orthodox don’t cheat on election day.”

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