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Labor Party Officials Examine Election Ballots to Prove Fraud

July 1, 1996
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Labor Party officials said this week that they were finding more discrepancies in ballots cast in May’s Israeli elections.

Labor Party officials were continuing to cross-check ballot counts with voter rosters.

The counting was part of a petition that the Labor Party brought before the Jerusalem District Court claiming widespread election fraud and challenging the outcome of the elections.

Working amid heavy police guard in party offices in Holon, Labor Party members for the past two weeks have been comparing voter rosters with the actual number of votes cast in polling places.

With 1,600 ballot boxes counted, about 20 percent of the total, 15,000 discrepancies have been found. In other words, more ballots were counted by the Central Election Committee per ballot box than the number of eligible voters in certain areas.

That figure is half the total number of votes by which Benjamin Netanyahu defeated Shimon Peres in the election for prime minister.

Among the boxes checked were those from fervently Orthodox districts in Jerusalem and in Bnei Brak, where Labor officials suspected instances of ballot-stuffing.

One poll observer from the right-wing Moledet Party told the Israeli daily Yediot Achronot that at the station where he was working, “rumors started spreading that Peres was winning, and the word went out to start stuffing the ballot boxes with slips” for Netanyahu.

“I don’t know anyone who hesitated,” the poll observer added.

Labor Knesset member Raanan Cohen said the ballot counting could only compare the number of eligible voters with the number of ballots cast per polling station.

“It’s impossible to see for whom the [extra] votes were cast,” he reportedly said.

Cohen added, however, that if the counting determined that 60,000 votes were stuffed, it would be reason to call for new elections for both prime minister and the Knesset.

Moledet Knesset member Rehavam Ze’evi added his support Sunday to the Labor Party’s election fraud petition.

But it was rejected because he had submitted the petition after the deadline.

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