|Polling Station Sign|
|Party List and Abbreviations|
At our polling station, we had a line up of about 20 people waiting to vote. Each station allows only one person into the room at a time and there is only one ballot box. So we had to wait for a total of about 40 minutes until we were able to vote. In order to vote, you are required to present appropriate photo ID - a driver's licence, valid passport or national I.D. card ("te'udat zeut") proving that your current address matches the polling station and, of course, that you are eligible to vote. Israelis must be in Israel, physically, to vote with a few limited exceptions. Unlike the U.S., you cannot generally vote as an "absentee voter."
|View Inside Ballot Box|
I just can't figure out why the parties should all be abbreviated into a letter or two, which bear no relation to the party name. This just seems to add an unnecessary layer of confusion. The party name should be first and foremost in large, clearly legible letters. If it must be abbreviated, it should be a simple abbrevation of the party's actual name - for example, the first two letters. Instead, the one or two letter abbreviation that is used is completely unrelated to the name of the party. While I had narrowed down the list of which party would be getting my vote to two or three parties, I had checked in advance which two or three letter abbreviations they were using.
Meanwhile, Israeli T.V. is reporting that Israelis are greatly enjoying election day. It is a national holiday. Shopping malls are open and have apparently been quite full with many election day specials taking place. The beaches have also been quite crowded as it has been a beautiful, sunny day. Many others have been travelling to national parks, barbecuing outdoors and spending time with family and friends. Closing everything on Election Day is a big expense for the Israeli economy but it creates an atmosphere of a very special event. It will be interesting to see whether there is anything special about the results.