Elections for the 20th Parliament in Israel - March 2015
Hebrew: בחירות לכנסת ה-20 בישראל
Who is Israel voting for?
Prime Minister of the State of Israel
General information from the 2015 elections
|National budget for the 2015 election||242 million shekels|
|Number of eligible voters||5,881,696|
|Number of voting stations across Israel||10,235|
|Voting stations with access for the disabled||1,552|
|Voting stations in hospitals||190|
|Voting stations in jails||57|
|Voting opportunities in other countries||96|
- Every citizen of the State of Israel over the age of 18 years has the right to participate in elections.
- For the purpose of calculating the results of the election, the entire country is considered a single electoral district.
- Direct winners are determined directly according the results of the voting (and not indirectly, such as the system in the United States, where the president is elected by regional delegates to the Electoral College).
- In Israel, voters cast a ballot in favor of a list of candidates.
- Every citizen has one vote. All voters are equal in their power to influence the outcome of the election.
- Secret ballot - no one but the voter knows how he/she has cast his ballot.
- Sealed, lined envelopes that prevent anyone from seeing the ballot slip inside, will be provided
- Polling stations will have booths that prevent the voter from being seen by another when choosing a ballot and placing it into the envelope.
1. Each list of candidates that receives at least 2% of the legitimate votes participates in the distribution of mandates.
2. The total number of legitimate votes for all lists that participate in the distribution of mandates is divided by 120, and the resulting number is the “index.”
3. Each list of candidates receives Knesset seats according to the total number of votes received as divided by the “index.”
The first round of voting is called the primaries. Registered members of a political party are invited to vote for their party's parliamentary candidates. The winning candidate will be that parties candidate for the second round of voting i.e for Prime Minister.
What is the “Voters Roll”?
- The Voters Roll is a list of all those who hold the right to vote for the Knesset.
- All persons listed in the Voters Roll have the right to vote.
- Every person who fulfills the following three conditions is eligible to be listed:
- S/he is an Israeli citizen who received Israeli citizenship and was registered in the Civil Registry no later than December 18, 2014.
- His/her date of birth is no later than January 22, 1997.
- S/he was registered as a resident in Israel, and his/her name and address in Israel appear in the Civil Registry no later than December 18, 2014.
- The Voters Roll and polling stations will be publicized via the Internet at http://www.pnim.gov.il.
- Details regarding the dates during which the Voters Roll will be available online can be found on the Central Elections Committee Website: http://www.bechirot.gov.il.
Where to Vote
- On the day of the elections, and a few days before, the Central Elections Committee will maintain telephone information centers that also supply the exact location of the polling station. Telephone numbers will be publicized in the press.
- The ambulatory disabled can vote in special polling stations designed for accessibility. Addresses of these polling stations are available from the telephone information centers. Voting at these polling stations will utilize double envelopes.
- Voters whose addresses are listed in one of the former Gush Katif or Shomron settlements may vote in any polling station that is defined as "accessible" and in the polling station of the Nitzan settlement.
- Voting will be facilitated in hospitals, prisons, Israeli ships, and Israeli diplomatic missions abroad.
- Approximately three weeks prior to the elections a notice will be sent to each voter containing the exact address of the polling station at which he/she is registered. A map of polling stations may be viewed at: http://www.gov.il.
The Election Day
- The election day is considered an official paid holiday off of work, though public transportation will operate normally. All polling stations are open on elections day from 7:00 a.m. until10:00 p.m.
- In small communities where the number of voters is smaller than 350, the voting hours are from 8:00 am until 8:00 pm. Those still waiting in line when the polling stations close will be permitted to vote, but one who arrives after closing time will not be permitted to vote.
- In order to vote it is necessary to produce only one of the following identification documents:
- Israeli ID card with photograph
- Valid Israeli passport with photograph
- Valid Israeli driver’s license with photograph
The Polling Station and the Voting Booth
The steps involved in voting are as follows:
1. The voter identifies himself to the polling committee with one of the documents listed above.
2. Once the voter’s name is located on the voters list, the voter then receives an envelope with the words “Elections for the 19th Knesset” appearing on it. The envelopes are sealed and darkened inside, and have the stamp of the Central Elections Committee, the chairman of the Central Elections Committee, and the signatures of two members of the polling committee.
3. The voter enters the voting booth. Inside is a display of voting slips for each candidate list. There are also blank white slips.
Knesset Ballots for Every Party List
Voters cast their ballots for a list of candidates. Each candidate list is represented on a ballot by an initial or initials as well as by the name of the party which you can view here . The party names of candidate lists and their corresponding initials are publicized in the press and on the Central Elections Committee website - http://www.bechirot.gov.il.
The Voting Process
1. The voter selects a slip for the list of candidates he/she wishes to vote for. Voters may choose one slip only, which is then placed into the envelope. The voter must close the envelope. One may also use a blank slip to cast a ballot. In such a case the voter must indicate on the slip, in his/her own writing (in Hebrew or Arabic only) the name and initials of the list for which s/he is casting a vote.
2. The voter then exits the booth, and personally places the closed envelope into the ballot box, in view of members of the polling committee.
3. It is important for the voter to obey any further instructions on the part of election officials in order to ensure order and safety.
4. Only one ballot may be placed into the envelope. An envelope found to contain 2 or more slips from different lists, or 3 or more slips for the same list, is invalid. An envelope that contains 2 slips for the same list is considered valid, although only one vote will be counted.
In Israel, each political party is represented by a Hebrew initial
Various workers are required during the election campaign and on the actual election day. A list of available, tendered, positions (in Hebrew) can be found here
Information will be provided in the following languages: Hebrew, English, Russian, Amharic & Arabic
Tel: 1 800 800 508
Fax for Hard of Hearing: 1 800 800 608
Extra Reading & Resources
- 2015 Election Results
- 2015 Ministries
- Voter's Roll
- Disabled Voters
- Elections Abroad
- Voter's Slip
- Who are you voting for?
- Public Holiday
- Election Updates
- Knesset Members
The information in this article was published in the government's official election website - www.bechirot.gov.il from an English translation of the Elections Information Sheet originally produced as a service for new immigrants by the Publications Department, the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption