Election officials refused to handle the 4,076 ballots cast by Israelis in quarantine for the coronavirus in Monday’s elections for the 23d Knesset due to fear of catching the virus, Israeli media outlets reported on Tuesday morning.

A later report said that Magen David Adom medics would count the ballots but ultimately it was announced that senior Central Election Committee officials, including Director-General Orly Ades, agreed to count the ballots.

“As far as is known, the coronavirus is not transferred through objects such as ballots and there are no reports of the virus being transferred in that way,” the Israel Medical Association stated, adding that the public should act in accordance with instructions based on medical knowledge rather than fear.

There was a large turnout on Monday at the special isolation voting booths that the Central Election Committee set up for the over 5,000 Israelis in quarantine, causing long lines to form at the booths.

Two additional booths were set up during the elections and the closing time was extended from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. due to the long lines.

The votes of the general public are being counted on Tuesday followed by the counting of the “double envelopes” on Tuesday evening.

“Double envelope” votes are the votes of soldiers, prisoners, the disabled, and patients and medical staff in hospitals, which are sealed inside double envelopes to reduce the chances of voter fraud.

 

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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