discussed this following an appeal after the elections of 1996, and ruled that
the way the law is formulated, blank ballots are not ‘valid’, but it added that
this is not obviously the preferred state-of-affairs, and possibly the
parliament (knesset) should discuss this explicitly.
last week, several appeals were submitted again to the high court, concerning
the blank ballots. The court ruled that it is too late to discuss this before
the elections. Still it is reasonable to demand that the required discussion
should take place also after the elections, the same way that discussion of the
interpretation of the elections laws in the US took place after the elections.
the spirit of the law, if Sharon does not get 50 percent of the total number of
votes, including the blank ballots, he has no mandate: His election is based
only on a technical neglect in the formulation of the law. At the moment, the
polls indicate that he might have the required 50%, but in practice, his race
towards the 50%, like that of any candidate in previous elections, is a tight
one. In the polls, at least 5% of the 52% voting for Sharon switch to Peres, in
case he runs. These are not right wing voters, but another segment of the ‘just
not Barak’ voters, who vote Sharon out of no choice, and may still consider
casting a blank ballot instead.
a close race, every vote counts.
of the opponents of both Barak and Sharon, are still hesitating between
boycotting the elections (not voting) and voting blank. But only those who vote
can harm Sharon. As far as the law is concerned, there is no way to distinguish
between those who do not vote because they boycott the elections, and those who
do not vote because they ‘don’t care about politics’. The absolute majority
required by the elections law is determined by the number of actual voters.
blank ballot vote at this stage, is a vote against Sharon – the vote that can
decide if Sharon will have mandate for war.