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Election Day guide: Who, what, where, when, how
By LAHAV HARKOV
01/21/2013
Your comprehensive guide to voting on Election Day.
 
Who can vote?

Every Israeli who is 18 years or older and whose name appears on the voter registry list.

When does the election begin and end?

Voting booths around the country open at 7 a.m. and close at 10 p.m., unless they are in a town with less than 350 residents that are able to vote, where ballots will close at 8 p.m. If you are still waiting on line outside the polling place when it is supposed to close, it will remain open for everyone on line to vote.

When will election results be released?

The official results will be publicized on January 29, one week after the election. However, television channels and radio stations will report results of their exit polls after 10 p.m. on Election Day. The results may be slightly different after a week, because of spare-vote agreements and soldiers' votes.

Where can I vote?

Everyone who is eligible to vote was supposed to receive a "notice to voters" postcard in the mail in the last few weeks. The postcard lists the polling place nearest the address you have registered with the Interior Ministry.

What should I bring to the voting booth?

You should bring your "notice to voters" postcard, as well as a Teudat Zehut ID card, Israeli driver's license or passport that has not expired.

What if I didn't get a postcard in the mail? How will I know where to vote?

Many people did not receive postcards, after problems were reported with the distribution company. The Interior Ministry and Central Election Committee have emphasized that you may still vote, just bring a Teudat Zehut ID card or passport to the polling place. The Central Election Committee’s English hotline to help people find out where to vote and whether they are eligible is 1-800-200-135. The committee also has hotlines in Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, Amharic and Spanish. Voter information is also available on the Central Election Committee's English-language website, http://www.bechirot.gov.il/elections19/eng/home_eng.aspx.

How does voting work?


After you show the officials at the polling place your ID and postcard, if you have it, you stand behind a divider. There you will find tickets with letters representing all 32 parties running, as well as blank tickets. The blank tickets are not a protest vote, and will be thrown away if left blank. However, if the polling place ran out of tickets for the party you want to vote for, you may use the blank ticket to write in that party's name. After choosing a party, put its ticket in an envelope. If you put two tickets in the envelope, your vote will be disqualified. You may choose whether or not to seal the envelope. Then, come out from behind the screen, and drop the envelope in a ballot box.

If I recently moved, but did not change my address with the Interior Ministry, can I vote in my new town?

No. You may only vote at the polling place nearest the address registered with the Interior Ministry. However, if your polling place is over 20 km from where you are, you may ride public transportation (trains or Egged buses) for free if you present the driver with your "notice to voters" postcard.

I have IDF reserve duty on Election Day. What should I do?

You have the right to vote on the base in which you are serving, if you present your ID card and Reservist card.

Where can someone with a physical handicap vote?

Someone whose physical condition limits his ability to travel, making it difficult for him or her to reach the polling place at which he or she is registered may vote anywhere that was determined handicap-accessible by the Central Election Committee. The list of locations can be found on the committee's website.

Where can someone who is hospitalized vote?

If you are in a hospital with 50 or more beds, you may vote where you are. However, if you cannot move within the hospital to the polling place, you cannot vote, as the ballot boxes will not be moved from bed to bed.

Where do people in prison vote?

Ballot boxes will be set up in 57 prisons throughout Israel. Anyone working in a prison on Election Day may vote at his place of employment. Some 10,000 prisoners have the right to vote.

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