WASHINGTON – It was a busy morning at the Israeli Embassy. The fourth round of Israeli elections is now officially under way, as Israeli diplomats and emissaries cast their ballots ahead of the March 23 election. Dozens of voters came in and out of the polling station in a socially distanced setting.
Gal Menashe, an administrative officer at the Embassy, who served as a member of the polling station staff, said that although it is the fourth round of election in under two years, there was no sign that the voters are tired or lacking motivation. “I am surprised, it is just the beginning of the day, and some 40% already cast their ballot,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “You should note that unlike in Israel, Election Day is not a day off, and yet you see so many voters taking the time to drive here and make their voice heard.”
Yasmin Drescher, a Jewish Agency emissary who works at Alexandria, Virginia, came with her Colleague, Danit Dvir, an emissary at George Mason University. While Gresher arrived in the US only a few months ago, her friend – who has been here for 18 month – is already voting for the third time.
“It has become a routine; every few months, we have a new round of election,” she said. “I have another year and a half to go in this position, we’ll see if it’s the last time that I vote abroad or not.”
“For me, it is still exciting,” said Drescher. “Voting abroad is a privilege that not all Israelis have, and even if we might meet here again in a few months, it is still our civic duty to vote.”
Israeli Ambassador to the US Gilad Erdan, cast his ballot at 10 a.m., and told reporters that he is excited to vote overseas for the first time. “It is specifically exciting to vote in Washington, at the Capital of our closest ally.”
Elad Strohmayer, the Embassy’s spokesperson, told the Post that there are 3,970 eligible voters worldwide, mostly government officials, diplomats, and Jewish Agency emissaries. He noted that the largest polling station is in New York with 556 voters, and the smallest one is in the Dominican Republic, with four eligible voters.
“The embassy made special arrangements to make sure all 237 registered voters in our polling station can vote safely in light of the pandemic,” he said. “Even though it’s the fourth time we vote here at the embassy in Washington, it still feels special to be able to cast our vote in the Israeli elections.”