IDF vows to reach every last soldier during elections

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March 2, 2006 21:17
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The army does not plan on giving up on a single vote in the upcoming elections and, if necessary, will dispatch helicopters and mountain climbers to reach troops serving in isolated installations at sea and in Israel, senior officers said Thursday. With tens of thousands of soldiers, officers and reservists serving across the country in different bases, outposts and hilltops, the army has set up a special Election Administration to ensure that each and every soldier, wherever they might be, will have the opportunity to utilize their democratic right to vote in the elections. To meet this goal, the army planned to set up over 900 military ballots throughout the country beginning on March 26 - two days before the general public takes to the polls, Election Administration head Col. Yossi Solnik said Thursday. 750 ballots will open in bases throughout the country, 162 mobile ballots will move on trucks from base to base and eight fold-up ballot boxes that fit inside a backpack will spread out to isolated outposts and hills that vehicles cannot reach. "We will reach everyone from Har Dov on the Lebanese border to the last Navy vessel at sea," said Brig.-Gen. Avi Zamir, deputy head of Human Resources. "If the need arises, we will also send a helicopter to bring a ballot to even just two soldiers." IDF operations, Zamir said, would continue as usual and would not be affected by the elections, which for the army will take place for three days from March 26 until the 28th.

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