Israeli diplomats worldwide cast absentee ballots

Israeli diplomats around the world and their families cast absentee ballots for the 19th Knesset.

More than 4,000 Israeli citizens were eligible to vote at polling booths set up Jan. 10 at 96 embassies and consulates, the Times of Israel reported.

S.F.-based Israeli Consul General Andy David votes in Israel’s national election on Jan. 10. photo/courtesy of israeli consulate

The first to vote were staff members at Israel’s embassy in New Zealand. The last were those stationed at the consulate in San Francisco, including Consul General Andy David.

The day of absentee voting came nearly two weeks before elections are held in Israel on Tuesday, Jan. 22.

By law, Israelis living or visiting overseas are not eligible to vote unless they are state emissaries or their families.

This year, due to a new reading of Israel’s election law, many of the 200 emissaries of the Jewish Agency for Israel in North America will be unable to vote, because they are employed directly by local Jewish organizations such as federations or Hillels.

In previous years, Jewish Agency emissaries had voting rights similar to embassy and consular staff. — jta & j. staff