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Wasted votes?
Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg
Parties eye potential surplus votes
Center-Left parties vie for ballots that will be cast for parties unlikely to pass electoral threshold in effort to stop them from being diverted to Likud-Beiteinu

As small parties desperate to get elected to the Knesset are making their last ditch efforts to pass the electoral threshold, the Center-Left bloc warns of the outcome of voting for parties whose chances of success are slim.

 

Supporters of parties unlikely to garner the sufficient votes to become part of the House are targetted in a new Labor internet campaign, which says that their votes would actually benefit the joint Likud-Beiteinu ticket.

 

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"Your vote, honestly meant as an act of protest, will simply be another vote for Bibi and Lieberman," Labor Chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich said in a post on her Facebook page. "They could get another three Knesset seats thanks to you."

 

Labor explained that the campaign aims to make voters understand how votes for parties which are not elected to the House are allocated.  

 


Every vote counts. The ballots

 

"Your votes will not be thrown away," Yachimovich pointed out. "It's much worse. The Bader-Ofer Method determines that the votes given to parties which do not pass the threshold are allocated first to the largest party."

 

Professor Shevach Weiss, former Knesset speaker and political scientist, confirmed Yachimovich's statement, adding that votes for parties which do not pass the electoral threshold are distributed between the parties according to size.

 

"The largest parties, in descending order, will benefit from the loss of parties which failed to pass the threshold," Weiss said.

 

The Bader-Ofer Method, based on the Hagenbach-Bischoff system and enacted in 1973 as an amendment to the Knesset Elections Law, prefers larger parties in the allocation of surplus votes. 

 

The amendment was passed by members of the largest parties in the Knesset at the time: Yohanan Bader of Gahal, today's Likud, and Avraham Ofer of The Alignment, today's Labor.

 

Until the Bader-Ofer Method surplus mandates were allocated to the parties with the largest vote surplus.

 

Tzvika Brot, Tova Tzimuki and Telem Yahav contributed to this report

 

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