Ballot-box on the snow
Photo: Avihu Shapira

IDF soldiers cast votes on Mount Hermon

Portable ballot-box placed on thin blanket of snow to allow troops serving in northern Israel to exercise their democratic right. 'It's strange standing here in the snow and voting, but it's also exciting,' one of them says

A portable military ballot-box arrived Monday morning at the Israel Defense Forces post on Mount Hermon in order to allow soldiers serving in the area to exercise their democratic right.


The ballot-box was placed on a thin blanket of snow, and the troops slowly arrived to exercise their democratic right – most of them for the first time in their lives.


Mirit, a female soldier serving at the Hermon post, told Ynet, "The fact that I am in the army only strengthened my decision to come and vote, because this is about my future and the future of the rest of the troops and citizens.


"It's a bit strange standing here in the snow and voting, but it's also exciting. I admit it's very confusing, and I only decided who to vote for as I stood behind the screen.


"I scanned the ballots with my eyes and decided to vote for the person which I believe will do what's best for this country," she said.


Soldier votes in the snow (Photo: Avihu Shapira)


Another soldier added, "We, the young people, must influence the State's future and vote in high percentages. It's part of democracy and I call on all soldiers to come and vote, just like I did."


Major Sami Awad, the Northern Command's elections officer, spoke of the army's preparations for the vote.


"Due to the forecast predicting a stormy weather, which will be accompanied by a blizzard, we decided to start the voting at the portable polling stations in the Hermon posts.


"Our goal is to allow every soldier to vote, even if they have been stationed in a distant base or are engaging in operational activity," he said.


Major Awad noted that the voter turnout in IDF bases in past elections were higher than average.


Some 100 ballot-boxes placed by the Northern Command in IDF bases are expected to be transferred to the Knesset on Tuesday, where the Elections Committee will ensure that the soldier hasn't already voted near his home. The final results of the elections will only be published after the soldiers' ballots are counted.


פרסום ראשון: 02.09.09, 13:53
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