The Elections in Israel are
General: Every citizen of the State of Israel over the age of 18 years has the right
to participate in elections.
National: The entire country constitutes a single electoral district.
Direct: The Knesset members are elected directly by the public and not by any
other electoral body.
Equal: Every citizen has one vote, and all votes carry equal weight.
Secret: The voting is done by secret ballot. No one but the voter knows for
whom s/he voted. The means for guaranteeing a secret ballot are an insulated envelope
which contains the slip selected by the voter, and a booth in which the voter can
select the slip and put it into the envelope in private.
Every citizen is free to vote according to his/her conscience
without anyone else knowing how he/she voted.
Note: The elections will be held on January 28, 2003 (25 Shvat, 5763)
There are 120 seats in the Knesset. The seats will be allocated proportionally according to
the number of valid votes received by each running list. For example, a list which receives 10%
of the votes will receive 10% of the seats in the Knesset - i.e. 12 seats.
Who's Who in the Voters' Registry
The Voters' Registry is the official list of citizens who are elligible to vote in the
Recently, a special law was enacted which laid the groundwork for preparing the
Voters' Registry for the upcoming elections.
Anyone listed in the Voters' Registry has the right to vote in the elections for the
According to the law, one has the right to be included in the Registry if they fulfill the
following three conditions:
The individual became a citizen of Israel no later than 5/12/2002.
The citizen was born no later than 16/2/1985.
The citizen's name and address appeared in the Population Registry no
later than 15/2/2002.
Where Do You Vote?
Several days before election day, lists of polling stations will be posted on public bulletin
boards. These notices will include polling stations, their numbers, and their exact
addresses. There will also be telephone information centers available to give information
about the polling stations and their addresses. The telephone numbers will be posted
in the newspapers and the Knesset web site.
People who are not mobile or handicapped will be able to vote at special polling stations
set up specifically for them. The aforementioned information centers will have the details
of the locations of these polling stations.
About three weeks before election day, citizens will receive a notice in the mail from
the Interior Ministry which states his/her polling station and its address.
Election Day is a National Public Holiday, though several services, including public
transportation, will be working regularly. Polling stations will be open from
7:00 AM until 10:00 PM (at small polling stations, where the number of elligible voters
is up to 350, they will open at 8:00 AM and close at 8:00 PM). The doors of the polling
stations will close exactly at 10:00 PM (or 8:00 PM), but those who are already inside will
be able to vote. Anyone who comes to the polling station after it is closed will not be
allowed to vote.
Every citizen who comes to vote must identify himself/herself with the secretary of the
polling station committee. For this purpose, one may use ONLY his/her official identity card
issued by the Interior Ministry. No other form of identification will be accepted.
The Stages in Voting
- The citizen identifies himself/herself with his/her identity card.
- After his/her name is located on the list of voters, the citizen receives an insulated
envelope marked "Elections for the 16th Knesset." The envelope is also stamped by
the Central Elections Committee and its chairman, and bears the signature of two members
of the polling station committee.
- The voter enters the voting booth. He/She will find there slips of paper representing
all of the lists running for the Knesset. There will also be blank white slips of paper.
Each slip (except the empty one) represents a party list running for the Knesset and not
individual candidates. Each slip contains a Hebrew letter or group of letters and the name
of the respective party list.
- The voter chooses only ONE slip representing the party list for whom he/she wants to
vote. He/she then places it into the envelope and seals the envelope shut. The voter
may use a white slip of paper to write (in Hebrew or Arabic only) the name of the party list
and its respective letter. A blank white slip of paper is an invalid vote and will not be
counted. If there are two slips for the same party list, then one will be counted. If there
are more than two slips or if there are two different slips, the vote is considered invalid.
- The voter exits the booth with the sealed envelope in hand and places it into the ballot
box in front of the polling station committee members.
- All citizens must listen to the instructions of those responsible for keeping the order
at the polling stations.
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