Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Education Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday evening, together with representatives of the New Right party, reviewed the raw materials of the committees which count the double envelopes containing the votes of the soldiers.

A review of the materials found that no invalid ballots were found, with the exception of one ballot that had been disqualified according to the law.

Bennett was allowed to review the materials after the chairman of the Central Elections Committee, Judge Hanan Melcer, authorized him to do so.

Melcer approved the New Right’s request to conduct a recount of votes in 300 ballot boxes which were used for special votes – the double-enveloped ballots cast by Israeli citizens unable to vote at the ballot nearest to their home. These voters include voters who were hospitalized during the election, soldiers stationed at bases across the country, prisoners being held in correctional facilities, foreign service officials working overseas, and disabled voters unable to reach the polls.

Despite polls showing the New Right entering the Knesset with five to six seats, the party narrowly missed the electoral threshold in the initial vote count.

The Central Elections Committee has been correcting errors in the uploading of data into the system, which produced a number of irregularities in the turnout rate for certain towns, as well as votes for one party mistakenly credited to another party.

Earlier on Sunday, the Central Elections Committee pushed back on the New Right’s allegations of widespread irregularities, calling the claim a “misrepresentation”.

“The Committee views with great severity the dissemination of the misrepresentation by the New Right that there were irregularities in the counting of special votes and the failure to recognize the Committee's attempts to provide them with the necessary information."

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