With more absentee votes than ever before, a subsequent vote can be clearer than usual.

How is this choice different from all other choices? For all other elections, we put our ballots in one envelope, but this year we may put them in two envelopes. For all other elections, we have a full week to count the votes, but this year we will only have two days. In all other elections, we cannot drive into the polling booth; this time we can vote while recycling by car. On every other election, we think, “we’ll do this again in three years,” but this time we think, “we’ll do this again in three months.”

On Tuesday, more than 6.5 million Israelis will be able to cast votes across the country. This is Israel’s fourth election in less than two years, the latest attempt to break an unprecedented political halt. But what makes this selection really similar to any other is the pandemic of coronavirus, creating a situation where the number of absentee votes is expected to double, make up more than 10th of the most likely votes.

While Israel will not allow voting in, to account for the health crisis, it has set up thousands of polling stations designed to keep COVID-19 carriers away from voters. others, cutting down on large crowds, and getting rid of the need to travel to a designated polling place.

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However, the special discounts are expected to pose a significant problem in the post-election situation, eliminating polls leaving, placing an additional burden on those who are responsible for the election. balancing votes and potentially leaving the door open for confusion about the parties entering the Knesset and what a coalition looks like.

An Israeli soldier cast an early vote at the IDF frontier near the Israeli border with Lebanon, 22 March 2021. (David Cohen / Flash90)

According to the head of the adas Central Electoral Committee, authorities estimate that around 600,000 people will vote with the so-called double envelope ballots, which are absent votes cast anywhere outside the station. your nominated vote.

In the previous three elections, the number of people who voted with a double envelope rose from 240,000 to 280,000 to 330,000, in the last election on 2 March 2020. There were usually only registered soldiers, hospital patients, prisoners, overseas emissaries, and a handful of Others are allowed to vote by such votes, but on Tuesday, the limits will be set sharply, expanding the number of potential double envelope voters.

A large chunk of the absentee polls are expected to be cast by more than 15,000 people currently with active coronavirus infections and more than 65,000 people in quarantine, who have to go to special polling stations drive- thru or other types of specially named huts.

The country will get its first look at election results at 10pm on Tuesday night when polls leave.

The staggering number of absentee votes could be a challenge for Israeli voters collecting data for the polls to leave. Although often inaccurate, the hot-expected censuses still provide a general sketch of the election map and are known to have been caught by parties (sometimes prematurely) to assert victory.

Mano Geva, who is leaving to vote for Channel 12’s influential news broadcast, told The Times of Israel that he does not intend to try to investigate those who cast absentee votes or vote at stations special for those in quarantine, as it assumes that they will not have an external effect on the outcome.

“On election night, our election forecast will not include the double envelopes,” he said Monday. “We don’t expect any effect on our calculations.”

Likud supporters will discuss the results of TV polls on election day, March 2, 2020, in Tel Aviv. (Olivier Fitoussi / Flash90)

He said false surveys in the survey and describing those who would stay home because of coronavirus fear would be the biggest problems he would have to deal with, predicting that about 67 percent, down from 71% last year, but were too many unknown people to be confident.

“In my entire professional life I have never encountered elections like this, where there are many factors at play, and that makes our election review leave difficult,” he said.

Let my people know

Counting of votes will begin immediately after the election is over, as officials have a tight deadline for confirming the results within a week. Adding to the pressure is a nearby Passover holiday, which starts Saturday night. As a result of the holiday, Adas has said it expects all votes to rise at noon on Friday, ahead of the long weekend leading directly to the start of Easter .

Whether or not she achieves that goal will largely depend on how many people throw absent boots. Double envelopes take longer to count due to the need to ensure that the voter did not vote at their designated polling station, and are traditionally counted last.

Officials will be counting votes from the elections at the Knesset in Jerusalem, 4 March 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi / Flash90)

Unlike the US, where a “blue-shift” effect was created by the movement of e-mail votes towards Democratic candidates, in Israel there is no clear link between ideology and voting style choice, which means that no such surprise is expected.

However, the absentee votes could end up representing as many as 15 Knesset seats, making them potential battlegrounds as parties scramble for every vote cast. could.

Three parties are voting around the 3.25% threshold required to enter the Knesset – Blue and White, Ra’am, and Meretz – and a fourth, Religious Zionism, may be in the scrum as well. Authorities fear that the longer it takes to complete the official turnout, the greater the risk of uncertainty weakening faith in the electoral system, as parties seek to gain influence or encourage supporters to fight what they see as unfair results.

Then-education minister Naftali Bennett (R) and then justice minister Ayelet Shaked (L, will hold a press conference at the New Right party, in Tel Aviv on March 17, 2019. (Flash90)

Parties that fall a little short are likely to challenge the results in court, which may be too much of a nuisance on the playing field before groups start negotiating a government coalition. In April 2019, Yamina’s party at Naftali Bennett dropped 1,400 votes short of entering the Knesset, leading to several days of frantic explosions through the halls of the Central Electoral Committee, while it was trying to the appeal results. The bid was unsuccessful, but other politicians took notice.

Eighteen months later, then-US President Donald Trump showed the dark side of a politician refusing to accept the election results.

“The public needs to be smart and not share disinformation over the next few days, while we are still counting the double envelopes,” Adas told radio station 103FM on Monday. believing that we are different than Trump and the United States. “

All presidential timelines

As a result of the harsh atmosphere in which the vote is taking place, President Reuven Rivlin’s office on Sunday indicated that he will take his time, instead of running through the process, allowing the full eight days for results to end on March 31 and a further seven full days for consultation with parties that should work to form a government.

The move is a move from March 2020, when Rivlin attempted a breakdown that led to three direct elections by pushing Likud director Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White representative Benny Gantz into a power-sharing settlement . It is the fall of that agreement that laid the foundation for the current vote.

President Reuven Rivlin, center, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz left hands at the memorial service of the late President Shimon Peres, at Mount Herzl Cemetery in Jerusalem, on September 19, 2019 . (Yonatan Sindel / Flash90)

“Unlike before, President Rivlin will not hold consultations before the final results are recorded, to ensure that they are clear and concise. That will take about two weeks, ”Rivlin chief of staff Harel Tubi told Radio Cymru on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Rivlin’s office noted Sunday that a decision on who could nominate to form a government could be made before the seven days are up on April 7th. But even if he chooses to slowly push for the formation of a new government, there will be enough in the waste of politics to keep themselves going.

On April 5, the evidence phase of Netanyahu’s close trial will begin, with an opportunity to call witnesses for confirmation. A day later the 120 politicians Israel will vote for on Tuesday will be ushered into the 24th Knesset.