Elections in Israel.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Central Election Committee chairman Justice Salim Joubran refused to change the date for voting in the national election from Israeli missions abroad Tuesday, even though the current date, March 5, falls on Purim.
The missions' staff and all emissaries trained by the Jewish Agency can vote while abroad.
MK Ruth Calderon (Yesh Atid) and Authority for the Advancement of Women Director Vered Sweid asked Joubran to change the date.
"The state cannot cause its emissaries the aggravation of canceling the holiday spirit in order to use their right to vote," Calderon wrote.
Sweid pointed out that many families have activities planned and women often carry most of the burden in planning these activities, which means are most likely to be harmed by the date.
"More than a few women will have to choose between two options: Planning family activities and running them, or exercising their right to vote and take part of the democratic game," she wrote.
Joubran responded by pointing out that the Knesset Election Law mandates that voting in foreign missions must take place 12 days before Election Day in Israel.
"If the election date in foreign missions is postponed, there is a real concern that the envelopes will not reach Israel on time, will be destroyed, and the votes will not be counted with all the others," he wrote.
In addition, Joubran said the Knesset House Committee was aware of the overlap when it authorized the law to disperse the 19th Knesset, but decided to move forward anyway.
Joubran also pointed out that since Election Day is a vacation day in Israel, parents who are not in missions abroad have the problem that Sweid described.
"I hope the voters in missions abroad will successfully combine the holiday for the Jewish People with the holiday of Israel democracy and celebrate both together," he wrote.