Observation: Central Election Committee Chairman Opts to facilitate fraud
Dr. Aaron Lerner 26 August, 2019
Central Election Committee Chairman Hanan Melcer ruled to bar the use of
cameras or even sound recordings in polling stations.
To be clear: we aren’t talking about cameras with a view inside the voting
Here is how a polling station is supposed to work in Israel:
Each voter enters the room and hands over their government issued photo ID
card to a member of the team running that voting station.
The person’s name and ID number is called out and a line is drawn across
their listing in the voting station printout.
Take note: the voter never has to say a word so their voice would NOT
recorded – the recording would be of someone running the voting station
calling out information that is ON THE PRINTOUT!
The voter is handed an envelope signed by two poll observers, takes it
behind the screen and picks the slip of their chosen party, puts the slip in
the envelope and the returns to puts the envelope into the sealed voting
Two arguments have been raised against cameras. One is that it is
intimidating and the other a violation of privacy.
Frankly speaking, its hard to follow why it is intimidating to record that
people voted. After all, there is nothing stopping someone from recording
who enters the building where the polling station is located.
The privacy issue is trickier.
A camera recording the calling out of the name and ID numbers of voters
along with their faces would create a face-name-ID data base.
There would certainly be a place for strict rules to prevent this
information from leaking out of the system as well as provisions to destroy
the recordings as quickly as possible.
Yes, the privacy issue is trickier – but the VALUE of the recordings in
securing the voting process should take priority.
A key element of voting fraud is stuffing of the ballot box.
A continuous recording of the voting process would seriously deter attempts
to stuff the ballot box by poll workers and people attempting to come in
multiple times to vote in the name of others.
Melcer’s ruling was not made in a vacuum. There were problems in the last
Some of those involved in the voting system argue that voting fraud has no
impact on the outcome since it is swamped by the large number of voters.
That’s an assertion that ignores how election results in our multi-party
system can readily create situations in which literally a handful of votes
can determine how many seats a party has.
Hopefully, the Likud Party initiative to somehow pass a law permitting
recording of the voting process in the coming days succeeds.
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