Election Commission CEO Orly Adas told Reshet Bet radio on Thursday that her commission is in high gear, preparing for the March 23 election, including “adding more than a thousand polling stations to reduce the number of voters at each poll,” to deal with the social distancing regulations.
“There will be two screens around each ballot box,” she said, adding, “we are trying to set up a polling station in every nursing home with more than 30 residents.”
On Tuesday, the Knesset plenum passed a bill by a vote of 68-0 with specific instructions for conducting the 24th Knesset election during the corona pandemic. The bill, which was passed as a temporary order, details the voting procedures for corona patients and people in quarantine, and also includes instructions in the event that the election will be held while the country is under lockdown.
Among other things, the bill stipulates that, for the first time, ballot boxes will be placed in retirement homes and assisted living complexes with more than 30 tenants.
The minimum age of a member of a polling station committee will be 17, and the minimum age of a polling station secretary will be 21.
Under the new law, if a faction took out loans during the tenure of any of the past three Knessets, the loans will not be deducted from the advance the faction is entitled to for funding its new campaign. Factions will have to return the loans within four years and four months from the day the 24th Knesset is established.
CEO Adas explained that she understands “the statement of the head of the public health services, that Corona patients may drive voters,” but chastised her for needlessly spreading panic. She added that a remote or computerized vote would have made her life simpler.
The CEO also said that she hopes that each of the polling stations will have an inspector to guarantee a clean vote, but she was troubled nevertheless. “This is a different system from anything we’ve known,” she explained. “We’ve conducted three elections by now, but there’s something different here.”