Israeli elections are next week (again!) and Israel has a problem. No, not the problem of too many elections but the problem that 1,600 Israelis across Israel are currently in quarantine. How will they vote?
Furthermore, there are media reports that the risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus may keep voters away from the polls. A recent survey showed that 6.5% of the population, 400,000 Israelis, are considering conceding their right to vote on Election Day due to concern about the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, Israel’s Central Elections Committee posted a video showing how the special voting booths will be set up. The booth is actually reminiscent of a pop-up sukkah without the schach. On a table outside will be face masks, gloves and a bottle of disinfectant. Fifteen booths will be set up in central Israel and will be manned by MDA volunteers.
The Health Ministry is allowing those in quarantine, who are not supposed to leave their homes, to venture out on Election Day only to go to the special polling stations but they cannot travel there by public transportation or go anywhere else.
The “coronavirus” voters will receive special voting kits with gloves and their ballots will be put in double envelopes.
Central Elections Committee Director-General Orly Ades said that it’s ironic that the elections, which were originally slated to fall out on Purim and was pushed earlier for that reason, will be attended by “mask” wearing voters after all.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday morning, Rachel Biton, the Israeli passenger on the Diamond Princess cruise ship who was hospitalized in Japan after contracting the coronavirus, landed in Israel to an emotional reunion with her family members.
רחל ביטון, הישראלית שהבריאה מנגיף הקורונה חזרה הביתה לישראל.
קרדיט: אליהו אליוביץ דובר המשפחות pic.twitter.com/kJFTQq21BD
— מעריב אונליין (@MaarivOnline) February 26, 2020
“Immediately after I was was released from the hospital…Harav Binyamin and Efrat Edery of Beit Chabad in Tokyo brought me to their home and helped me get on a flight home,” Biton said.
“I could have stayed another night in Tokyo but I decided not to wait and to unite with my family as quickly as possible,” Biton explained. “We haven’t seen each other for weeks as a result of my vacation and the coronavirus.”
“I met my relatives at the airport and cried tears of joy. B’ezrat Hashem, we’ll make a huge mesibas hoda’ah with all of my family members.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)