An IDF soldier votes in Ashdod 370.
(photo credit: Reuters/Amir Cohen)
The current election will see a higher than usual voter turnout among soldiers,
the army forecast on Tuesday.
In past elections, some 58 percent of
combat soldiers took part, but this year, the percentage should be higher, said
Alon Solomon, deputy elections headquarters chairman for the IDF.
increase can be explained by the current generation of soldiers, who “are
curious youths realizing their right to vote for the first time in their lives,”
and who are keen on experiencing the voting process, Solomon
Soldiers’ votes account for six to seven Knesset
“That’s a significant and influential number,” he
In a complex logistical operation that took three months to plan,
soldiers began voting on Saturday evening in 755 poll stations, some of them
situated in distant, hard-to-reach army positions. There are 81 reserve voting
stations that can be deployed in the field if necessary. Additionally, 150 of
the stations are mobile, and are designed to serve frontline units that are on
The army has approached the election as a military operation,
opening a command and control room, where live updates are received on the
progress of IDF voting stations.
“From the guard to the soldier on
kitchen duty – everyone must be allowed to vote,” Solomon said. The voting
operation extended into army prisons too, where soldiers who do not wish to vote
have to sign a form waiving their rights, “to ensure beyond all doubt that those
imprisoned were given the right to vote,” Solomon added.
was to enable voting across the military without interfering with vital security
missions, he said.
The navy and the Border Police were among the first
sectors in the IDF to cast their ballot on Sunday, while the Northern and
Central Commands began voting on Monday.
All soldiers received text
messages last week, and again on Tuesday, with information on where and how to
vote. Voting stations are staffed with reservists, who themselves will be voting
for their first time.