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Soldiers voting in 2009 elections Photo: AP
Soldiers voting in 2009 elections Photo: AP
 
 

Soldiers begin voting in Knesset election

Polling station at Tel Aviv's Kirya base opens; 760 IDF ballot boxes to travel Israel in attempt to meet soldier turnout target

Yoav Zitun
Published: 01.19.13, 23:59 / Israel News

The first vote on Israeli soil in the 2013 elections was cast Saturday evening in an army ballot box in the Kirya base in Tel Aviv.

 

Hundreds of thousands of soldiers will vote in the next few days in IDF bases across Israel, with the army hoping for an 80%-90% turnout.

 

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Some 3,000 soldiers will man 760 polling stations, 100 of them portable stations to be placed at remote locations. About 600 officers will supervise proceedings.

 

In the last elections, the rate of soldier votes was similar to that of the general population. To improve it, soldiers this year received text messages reminding them to bring their ID cards from home, and are expected to receive further reminders on Tuesday.

 

Voting will continue on Sunday in Navy bases in Haifa and Ashdod and in Border Guard bases. Combatants in the elite Sayeret Matkal Unit will also be voting Sunday.

 

On Monday, soldiers will be able to cast their ballots at the Judea and Samaria Division posts as well as in polls at the Jordan Rift Valley and the Golan Heights.

 

Central Elections Committee Chairman Elyakim Rubinstein will visit the Etzion Territorial Brigade to supervise the voting.

 

Soldiers on leave will be able to vote in polls close to their home, while soldiers in transit on Tuesday will be given the option to vote in any army ballot box in Israel.  

 

The soldiers' votes will be transported to the elections HQ at the Knesset by Wednesday morning.

 

"The IDF will prevent any political activity or propaganda inside bases, restricting any political discourse," head of the IDF elections staff Colonel Avi Baruch said.

 

 

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