Due to Clerical Error, Arab Town Votes for Far-right Jewish Party

A recount of the polling data in Jisr al-Zarqa, which attracted the attention of the elections committee, revealed a clerical error was responsible for the surprising support of Aryeh Eldad and Michael Ben Ari's party.

Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson
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Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson

Surprising support for Otzma Leyisrael, a party on the far right, in the Israeli Arab town of Jisr al-Zarqa was in fact a clerical error, the central election committee said on Sunday.

Last week, the committee published polling data which showed that 109 of about 3,000 voters in the town voted for Otzma Leyisrael. Out of these 109 votes, 107 were cast in one polling station in the town.

The unusual data prompted an examination by the regional elections committee, and in a recount it turned out one of the polling station officials mistyped the data. In reality, Aryeh Eldad and Michael Ben Ari's party received only two votes in Jisr al-Zarqa.

In the Arab voting demographic, the United Arab List-Taal, Hadash and Balad received most of the votes, with a smaller number of votes going to Meretz. In Kafr Qassem, the Pirate Party received no less than 252 votes. In Umm al-Fahm, the United Arab List-Taal, Hadash and Balad received more than 96 percent of the votes. Meretz won only 1.2 percent of the votes. Likud won 19 votes – 11 votes less than Rabbi Chaim Amsellem's Am Shalem.

The town of Jisr al-Zarqa, squeezed between a number of Jewish towns and the ocean. Credit: Nimrod Glickman

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