The 2006 Knesset elections will begin in Canberra at midnight Wednesday (Israel time) when Israel's government representatives around the globe begin casting ballots 12 days before Election Day. Voting will take place at Israel's 92 legations abroad on Thursday. The first polling station will open in Canberra, and the last will close in San Francisco. Absentee voting for diplomats has been possible since 1990 and the passage of a law allowing for voting by diplomatic and consular personnel abroad. Currently some 4,500 Israeli officials abroad - including civil servants, Jewish Agency, Jewish National Fund, and Keren Hayesod emissaries, their spouses and voting-aged children - are eligible to vote. The most eligible voters are found in New York, Washington, Berlin, Paris, Brussels, and London, with the smallest number in Israeli legations in Mauritania, Myanmar, and Viet Nam. Polling booths and other voting equipment were sent to Israel's embassies and consulates abroad via diplomatic pouch, and the ballots are to arrive back in Jerusalem by Election Day on March 28.