Central Elections Committee Director-General Orly Ades and Health Ministry Director-General Moshe Bar Siman Tov met on Monday to discuss the impact of the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus on the March 2 election.
They said polling stations could be created across the country for voters who are in their required 14 days of isolation following their return from China, Thailand and other Asian countries. Dozens of Israelis fall into that category, the Central Elections Committee said.
“Currently, polling stations are in public places, so the Health Ministry asked for help in the matter,” the Central Elections Committee said in a statement.
The committee said if special polling stations will be added for those in isolation, they would not be in the same buildings as other polling stations. They might even be placed in health clinics.
There are also concerns that the virus could lower voter turnout or be used by one party to discourage voters of rival parties to cast ballots. Another possibility discussed was that the Health Ministry will operate a hotline on Election Day to prevent rumors about an outbreak of the virus in areas with low voter turnout.
Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman joined the meeting following voting in the Knesset.
A vote in the Knesset on forming a committee of MKs to deal with the coronavirus that was set for Monday was postponed until after the March 2 election.
Blue and White MK Zvi Hauser, who initiated the effort to form the committee, said it was unfortunate that a consensus could not be found to deal with such a truly urgent issue.