Committee nixes activists who used leaked link to sign up for election jobs

The Central Elections Committee on Sunday disqualified people who registered to count votes for the committee through an internet link that was improperly and prematurely leaked online, including dozens from the right-wing activist group Im Tirtzu.

“The committee views this incident very seriously,” said CEC Director-General Orly Ades.

She also rebuked the manpower company “Tigbur,” which had won a bid to recruit people for work in different roles relating to absentee vote counting in the March 2021 Knesset election.

An investigation found that the lapse occurred when the company established an online link for people to register for that work, and was planning on conducting tests to make sure the system worked properly.

Illustrative: Activists from the right-wing Im Tirtzu movement hold Israeli flags as they protest in Habima square in Tel Aviv, against Supreme Court Chief Justice Esther Hayut; May 26, 2020 (Miriam Alster/Flash90)The tests were supposed to be strictly internal, with only company personnel participating; but the registration link was somehow leaked to outside sources, including to Im Tirtzu.

The group encouraged its members to use the link and register to participate in the vote counting. About 100 people registered during what was supposed to be the test period.

Ades decided that anyone who registered with the improperly-distributed online links would be disqualified to work for the committee during the upcoming election.

Ades also criticized the company, noting that Tigbur workers had presented themselves as representing the election committee.

The event involves double-enveloped voting, which is basically an Israeli version of absentee voting.

Most Israelis cast their ballots at pre-determined locations near their homes, by placing a piece of paper from their Knesset party of choice into a single envelope. Those who need to vote by absentee ballot (for instance, IDF soldiers who are on base or Israeli diplomats overseas), must place the first envelope into a second envelope, on which are written their personal details. The double-enveloped votes are then sent away to be processed in Israel.

Following changes made to the recruitment page and the links that lead to it, the committee was set to launch official registration for workers processing absentee ballots later Sunday.

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