This morning I was in a voting "booth" in Bet Ha'am in my moshav (village). Actually you just go behind a cardboard screen, select one of 33 little ballots (for the 33 parties running in this national election), put it in the envelope, come out and push it into the slot of a locked cardboard box. The four officials sitting at a long table then return your identity card, which they had checked against the list of registered voters.
The polls close in two hours from now, at 10 p.m. The votes will be counted by hand (!) and eventually we will know who are new leaders are, for better or for worse. Despite the cold and stormy weather over 50% have come out to vote so far.
Election Day is a national holiday. Schools were closed and most people did not have to work. Stores were open and did a thriving business.
Fortunately I returned from Australia just in time. Israel is one of the few Western countries that does not allow absentee ballots. In fact, one out of eight eligible voters is currently either residing abroad (or studying or traveling) and will therefore not be voting. About 650,000 Israelis live outside the country.
I myself have been elsewhere for the last several elections. So today it was a special privilege for
me to feel part of the democratic process again, to be home.
D is for democracy. To see what other bloggers have chosen for D-day, please visit ABC Wednesday.