Reporter's Notebook: To seal or not to seal

After six decades of practice, it seems that there are still a few kinks to work out in voting procedures.

By
October 23, 2013 06:58
1 minute read.
A Jerusalem resident votes in the local elections, October 22, 2013.

Voter Jerusalem elections 2013 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Israelis went to the polls Tuesday to exercise their democratic right, but after six decades of practice, it seems that there are still a few kinks to work out.

Forget about the fact we’re still using paper ballots and envelopes (at least there weren’t any chads), but what’s the deal with the one big ballot box? Voters were given two envelopes to fill, one for the mayoral candidate and the other for their municipal council selection. However, when emerging from behind the curtain, they were told to deposit both envelopes into one box.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


When queried why there weren’t two boxes available, which would have saved the whole sorting procedure, one poll monitor at a Ma’aleh Adumim polling station just shrugged, chuckled and quipped that it was a cost-saving gesture.

A more perplexing – and possibly sticky – issue revolved around the envelopes themselves. Three different voters at three different polling stations had three different experiences.

One sealed his ballots inside the two envelopes, peeling the slips off the sticky flaps before adhering them and depositing both together in the box, with no problems.

Another did the same, but was stopped by one of the polling station monitors as she was about to deposit the envelopes and asked why she sealed them. Maybe because there were sticky flaps on them just begging to be sealed? The third voter was told before going behind the curtain to not seal the envelopes but to leave them open. Perhaps it was a function of how much foresight the monitors had, envisioning having to rip open hundreds of sealed envelopes instead of simply sliding the ballot out of the open ones.

But compared to the relatively smooth process experienced by most voters, a little uncertainty on the rules can be excused.



Outside polling stations around the country, there was the usual jostling, sloganeering and unsubtle last minute appeals/demands from volunteers to vote for their candidates.

Static-filled loudspeakers on top of trucks, huge banners surrounding the schools that had been converted into polling stations and a shuk-like atmosphere reminded us that, after all, we’re in the Middle East. But it also reminded us that though it may be messy and informal, Israel’s democracy is strong and vibrant, even if we don’t know whether to seal the envelope or not.

Related Content

Riot
August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night

By DANIEL K. EISENBUD