Israel prepares Covid-safe elections, most expensive in its history

Jerusalem, Mar 9 (efe-epa).- Israel is preparing to host Covid-safe elections in a bid to allow people with the virus to vote, even if it is from a hospital bed — a challenging feat that comes at a considerable financial cost, a spokesperson for the Central Electoral Committee told Efe.

The logistical complexity of the 23 March elections, the fourth in two years, does not only imply more work but also election material.

With around 40,000 active cases in Israel and thousands in quarantine, the cost is estimated at 674 million shekels (170 million euros), much more than 100 million euros spent on the March 2020 polls, when the pandemic was in its early stages.

“We want everyone to be able to come and vote but we want everyone to go home safely,” the head of the committee’s special elections department Moti Gaistman told Efe.

The commission has come up with a series of innovative voting methods, including specialized tents where people who are observing quarantine can cast their ballot.

Voters who are currently positive for Covid-19 can be transported to specific tents in a vehicle provided by the Central Electoral Committee. The car will be adapted to ensure there is no contact with the driver.

In addition to about 1,000 voting centers specially designed for people in quarantine or infected, the Israeli authorities adapted buses that will function as mobile polls and that will be used if an electoral center must close due to an outbreak. EFE-EPA


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