Nearly 5.3 million are eligible to vote

Last of 9,300 voting booths readied for use and delivered to regional election committees.

ballot box 88 (photo credit: )
ballot box 88
(photo credit: )
The last of the 9,300 voting booths were readied for use and delivered to the regional election committees Wednesday in preparation for next Tuesday's general election. A total of 5,278,985 citizens aged 18 and older are eligible to vote on February 10 for one of the 34 lists running for the 18th Knesset - a 5 percent growth in the number of voters compared to the general elections in 2006. This election is budgeted at NIS 206 million to cover all the Central Elections Committee expenses, including NIS 48 million for the wages of 50,000 workers, mainly at the polls, as well as for transportation, publicity and other expenses. Four people will man each polling station: a secretary and three other members, each from a different party. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the big cities and towns, and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in communities of 350 people and less. After the polls close, the four members of each polling station committee will count the votes in accordance with the Central Elections Committee's protocol. Then they will bring the results to the regional election committees, which will vet the results and the protocols before feeding the results into the Central Elections Committee's database. Updates on the results will be available during the night at the Central Elections Committee's Web site: The votes of diplomats abroad, soldiers, prisoners and those who will vote in hospitals will be counted once all polls are closed. Voters who did not receive the "Notice to the Voter" that was mailed out a couple of weeks ago need not panic. Anyone who does not know where to vote should go to: (Hebrew only) and type his or her identity number into the search box in the middle of the page. At that address, disabled voters can also find information on polling stations that are adapted for their needs. One need not bring the Notice to the Voter to the polling station. For identification, one must bring an identity card or a driver's license with a picture or a valid Israeli passport. Voters whose registered address is more than 20 kilometers from their current residence are entitled to free public transportation to their assigned polling station. They can receive a round-trip bus or train ticket until Monday, February 9, at every post office by showing an identity card or driver's license with their address on it. Election Day is a national vacation day and except for those providing essential services, workers are entitled to a day off. Those who agree to work in an establishment that remains open as usual are entitled to enhanced wages for the day, and must be given enough time to vote. At the polling stations, voters will find a pile of blank ballots next to those of the 34 lists. If the ballots for the party you want to vote for run out, you are allowed to write the letters of your preferred party on the blank ballot. A blank ballot is invalid and will not be counted. For more information, voters can call the Central Elections Committee's call center at 1-800-200-137. The call is free and the information is available in Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, Amharic, English and Spanish.