Polls Open as Israelis Pick PM, Knesset

Stand for Israel  |  April 9, 2019

A child watches as an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man places a ballot in an envelope before casting his vote during Israel's parliamentary elections on April 9, 2019 in Jerusalem. - Israelis voted today in a high-stakes election that will decide whether to extend Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's long right-wing tenure despite corruption allegations or to replace him with an ex-military chief new to politics. (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP) (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)

Voting is underway in Israel as the Israeli people pick their next government. Ynet News reports that more than 6 million Israelis are voting at over 10,000 polling places as the nation selects both parliament and premier:

The polls opened across Israel at 7am on Tuesday morning as the country began voting on the make up of the next Knesset – and the prime minister to lead it.

The polling stations were to remain open until 10pm, allowing some 6.3 million eligible voters to cast a ballot at more than 10,000 locations…

Some 17,000 thousands of police forces were to be deployed throughout the country, with Israeli military imposing a general closure on the West Bank and the border crossings into the Gaza Strip…

Votes are cast in Israel by paper ballot only, so as to minimize the potential for cyber attacks on the electoral process.

While in some countries voting is compulsory, in Israel it is optional. Election Day, however, is considered a national holiday in order to facilitate the electoral process.

In order to vote, Israelis have to produce an ID card, a valid driving licence or passport. Voters present their identification at the relevant polling station, and are handed an envelope in which they will place their ballot. They then go behind a screen and select a slip of paper representing the party for which they wish to vote.

The slip of paper is placed in the envelope, which is then sealed and dropped into the ballot box that is supervised by election officials at each station. Voters must take care to ensure that they do not place two slips and invalidate their vote…

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