Powered by WebAds

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Israel's voting methods make Palm Beach County look the space age

A word is perhaps in order about the mechanics by which Israelis vote. What you see in all the pictures is a picture like the one at the top left of this post in which someone is placing a blue envelope in a blue ballot box. What you don't see is what happens before that. It makes the hanging chads of Palm Beach County, Florida look the Sharper Image's technology.

The box is placed on a table in front of another table at which the inspectors sit. The inspectors inspect your Israeli identification card or other picture identification (driver's license or passport), check you off by hand on a list, and hand you the blue envelope. They hold your identification until you finish. Then you go behind a curtain where there's a tray like the one below (from the 2006 elections - not today's) on a table in front of you.

The tray holds slips from each of the 34 parties who are running in the current election. Each slip has a party's one or two-letter symbol and the party's name on it. You are meant to take one slip (and only one) from the tray and place it in the envelope. Then you are advised (but not required!) to seal the envelope. When the polls close at 10:00, the poll watchers open the envelopes and count together.

I nearly put two slips for my chosen party in the envelope. In past elections, that envelope would have been invalidated, but the poll watchers at my polling station assured me today that two of the same party's ballots in one envelope would count as one vote. But two different party's ballots would be invalidated.

On Israel Radio's 5:00 news it was reported that some polling stations have complained that some of the Meretz ballots have "Lieberman" written on the back. Those ballots would be invalidated! I assume you can all see how this leaves room for pranksters to take a few extra seconds behind the curtain.

And Americans complain about hanging chads?


At 6:09 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 6:11 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

A paper ballot makes everything simpler. And since one can vote only the party, not the individual, split ticket voting is impossible now.

It was possible when voters could vote separately for Prime Minister and then for the party.

At 9:01 PM, Blogger Grantman said...

With all the high tech firms in Israel, this is the best they can do?


At 11:45 PM, Blogger Robertcw72 said...

Stupid question but do they have ballots in other languages as well...like English?

At 4:05 AM, Blogger David said...

Thanks for this post. I didn't know anything about Israeli ballots so learning this was quite enlightening.

Thank you!

You would think, to echo another comment, that Israel could do better. Oh well....

At 8:21 PM, Blogger Abe Bird said...

Grantman, it has nothing to do with technology ... its all politics. There is no mutual understanding to change the mechanism of voting by the Knesset so they go on voting by papers.

Any way it is not as in the US where one has to vote for many institutions and duties.


Post a Comment

<< Home