Israel Elections: The Jerusalem Post's top seven tips ahead of tomorrow's mayhem

Voting is a privilege and a right that excites the Israeli public every time it comes around (and around and around), and it's not just the day off of work; election day can be quite exciting.

 A demonstration of a polling station ahead of the March 2021 elections. (photo credit: FLASH90)
A demonstration of a polling station ahead of the March 2021 elections.
(photo credit: FLASH90)

Every election in Israel – and there have been quite a few – comes with its own unique challenges and focuses, with its different issues of the day and concerns of the public.

Nevertheless, voting is a privilege and a right that excites the Israeli public every time it comes around (and around and around), and it's not just the day off of work; election day can be quite exciting.

That being said, it's an important day to make your voice heard and have yourself properly represented by the politicians you believe in.

So ahead of Israel's fifth round of elections in three years, The Jerusalem Post has gathered its now-vast knowledge of the voting booth in seven of our top tips for you as you head to the polls.

7. Know where you're voting

 Ballot slips in a voting booth. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM) Ballot slips in a voting booth. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

A couple of weeks before each round of elections, Israeli citizens receive a note in the mail specifying where they are supposed to go in order to vote. These are schools, auditoriums and so on that have been reformatted for a day to allow for people to come and take part in this definitely-not-annual event.

If you did not receive your note in the mail – as Israel Mail is not known for being particularly timely – not to worry. Simply head to the government voting site, enter your personal information and you'll be informed exactly where you need to go.

You don't need the card that comes in the mail in order to enter the voting booth, so if it hasn't arrived in the mail, don't fret. Just bring either your Israeli ID or your Israeli passport with you.

6. Be careful!

Some people have taken to being malicious at the polls, sticking notes together and rendering them defective, removing notes of rival parties, placing fake notes in the polls and so on.

Make sure to check your note carefully and to check with your party in advance to make sure you are taking their official note, nothing stuck to it and nothing harmed or ruined.

If you do see that someone has sabotaged a certain party in some way, notify your poll monitors immediately.

5. Free busses!

There is free intercity transportation all of election day. So if you moved cities but didn't have the time to update your address in the official national records – or if you want to go for a beach day after you vote – not to worry, you have a way to get there, free of charge.

Make sure to check if this rule applies to the bus line you need, as it may not apply to all bus lines.

4. COVID's still around

If you have had the unfortunate experience of being infected with coronavirus in the days leading up to the election, fret not, you can still exercise your right to vote.

There are special voting polls available for those with COVID-19. Make sure you have been formally registered with the Health Ministry as being sick with coronavirus, and once you have that official permission, find the nearest voting booth for those infected here.

3. No merch allowed!

Wearing your party's shirt to honor the people you support? Cover it up! You cannot wear official party merchandise into the voting booth legally.

In fact, party booths that are so often stationed near voting polls are legally required to be a certain distance away from the voting booths.

2. Assisted/accessible voting

If you or a loved one is living with an injury or a disability, that person is permitted to vote at an accessible voting booth, even if that is not the location marked down for them on their voting note. These are located in various public spots as well as in hospitals for those hospitalized.

However, the monitors at the booths are required to check proof of disability, so make sure to bring either your disability identification card or another medical document with you.

You can find the one nearest you here

In addition, people with disabilities that would limit their ability to vote without assistance are permitted to have someone come and assist them at that booth.

Honorable Mentions

Before we get to the final tip, a list of some honorable mentions that didn't make the top-seven list:

  • Look neither to the right nor the left when you're walking in to the polling station so party lobbyists don't accost you.
  • Don't ask the voting supervisors in the room if they validate parking.
  • Avoid asking the polling station supervisors, "Who should I vote for?

And finally, the top tip:

1. Another chance will come around

Do you regret your vote in hindsight? Not to worry, another election is probably about to come around, anyway.