On Tuesday, 6,788,804 eligible Israeli voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots to elect Israel’s 25th Knesset.

If you are one of them, The Times of Israel will walk you through the voting process, to ensure that your vote for one of the 39 parties actively running in the election is counted.

Most of the more than 12,000 polling stations deployed across Israel open at 7 a.m. and lock their doors at 10 p.m., though they allow voters who enter before the cut-off to cast their ballots. More rural centers and some specialty polls open an hour later, at 8 a.m., so it’s possible you may show up too early on the way to the beach.

In terms of eligibility, Israeli citizens age 18 and up on election day may vote. Although Israelis over the age of 17 can vote in municipal elections, this lower age threshold does not apply to national elections.

Immigrants who complete their citizenship registration at least 60 days before the November 1 election are also eligible to vote, including about 45,000 new Israelis who arrived by the end of August this year.

Registration is automatic according to entries in the population registry.

Unlike several other countries, Israel does not restrict the right of the incarcerated to vote. This year, 55 polling stations will be deployed in prisons and jails to serve the inmate population.

Israelis who are located either abroad or not near their polling station on election day cannot vote, however, barring several specific exceptions.

Israel does not allow absentee voting. Only the about 4,500 Israelis posted abroad as diplomats, representatives of other government ministries, the military and police and their families were able to vote beyond the borders of the state. They completed this process on October 20.

Votes in the startup nation are still cast by paper ballot with physical rolls. As a consequence, Israelis must vote in specific polling stations assigned based on their registered address. Special polling booths are set up to help citizens facing special barriers to vote, including soldiers, elderly citizens in care facilities, hospital patients, and those with disabilities.

If you fit into one of those groups, you will have to bring proof of your eligibility to a special polling station, or sign a statement attesting to your need. Israelis are dissuaded from abusing these polling stations as a method to skip the trip to their assigned station, in part by the fact that it is a criminal offense.

There are also 414 special polling stations for voters required to be in quarantine following exposure to or infection with COVID-19.

Most voters receive their polling station information by mail, including a specific polling booth within a larger polling station. It’s possible to verify this information online, by inputting an identification number (mispar zehut) and the identification card’s date of issue.

Many Israelis find themselves having to travel to cast their votes, among them students and people who took advantage of Election Day being a national holiday in order to take a mini-vacation. Inter-city public transportation is free to those who can show proof of the need to travel.

Before boarding the bus, make sure to bring one of three forms of State of Israel-issued photo identification accepted at the polling booth: identification card (te’udat zehut), driver’s license, or passport.

Once at the assigned poll site and correct station, voting is a low-tech process. Behind a privacy shield, voters are greeted by piles of paper slips, each containing the name of a party. Staring at a sea of one- to four-letter party codes can be overwhelming, so many voters memorize the letters assigned to their selected party before stepping into the ballot box.

For example, Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party uses the letters Pe-He (פה) and opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud uses Mem-Het-Lamed (מחל). Each party’s current letters can be found here. Although parties generally keep the letters they used in previous elections, with new parties and several cycling in and out of the race, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with the letters to look for on November 1.

There will also be a stack of blank slips at the poll. These are not for write-ins; rather, they are used in the rare case that the polling station ran out of slips for the party for which you wanted to vote. In that case, write the letter code for your party of choice in large, legible letters. It will be read, manually, by a tired and harried poll worker late on Tuesday evening or in the early hours of Wednesday.

After slipping the ballot into an envelope — or if in a special polling station, two envelopes, used in order to attach a name to the ballot and cross reference against a local roll to prevent double voting — drop the envelope into the blue slotted box and await results.

Most counts are done at the polling station or at a regional headquarters, with tallies and ballots brought to the Knesset to record official results with the Central Elections Committee. Although official results are only due eight days after the election, final results are expected later this week.

The director general of the CEC recently called election day the nation’s largest civil operation. However, it’s only one step in the political operation. After election day, Israelis will still have to wait days, weeks, or possibly even months until they know if a government will be formed, and who will be in it.

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Israel goes to the polls on Tuesday. Here’s how to cast your ballot

18 4 12
30.10.2022

On Tuesday, 6,788,804 eligible Israeli voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots to elect Israel’s 25th Knesset.

If you are one of them, The Times of Israel will walk you through the voting process, to ensure that your vote for one of the 39 parties actively running in the election is counted.

Most of the more than 12,000 polling stations deployed across Israel open at 7 a.m. and lock their doors at 10 p.m., though they allow voters who enter before the cut-off to cast their ballots. More rural centers and some specialty polls open an hour later, at 8 a.m., so it’s possible you may show up too early on the way to the beach.

In terms of eligibility, Israeli citizens age 18 and up on election day may vote. Although Israelis over the age of 17 can vote in municipal elections, this lower age threshold does not apply to national elections.

Immigrants who complete their citizenship registration at least 60 days before the November 1 election are also eligible to vote, including about 45,000 new Israelis who arrived by the end of August this year.

Registration is automatic according to entries in the population registry.

Unlike several other countries, Israel does not restrict the right of the incarcerated to vote. This year, 55 polling stations will be deployed in prisons and jails to serve the inmate population.

Israelis who are located either abroad or not near their polling station on election day cannot vote, however, barring several specific exceptions.

Israel does not allow absentee voting. Only the about 4,500 Israelis posted abroad as diplomats, representatives of other........

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