Israeli diplomats, attaches, and representatives of quasi-governmental organizations are casting their votes for the February 10 Knesset Thursday at 90 legations all over the world. The voting began in Canberra, the capital of Australia, where the poll opened at 9 a.m. local time, and will end when the poll closes at 6 p.m. local time in Los Angeles. New York boasts the most eligible Israeli voters (some 850), while Nouakchott in Mauritania the fewest (four). Unlike the United States and some other countries, Israel does not permit absentee voting for most citizens abroad. Only diplomats and other state representatives, such as military attaches, as well as envoys of such bodies as the Jewish Agency and the Jewish National Fund, can vote in this fashion, along with their spouses and voting-age children. According to the Central Elections Committee, some 5,600 Israelis are eligible for absentee voting. The voters abroad place their ballots in double envelopes, which are then forwarded to the Central Elections Committee here. After the general vote count is over, the votes from abroad are opened and counted, along with the other votes submitted in double envelopes, including those of soldiers, prisoners, and hospital patients.

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