Greens Call for Electronic Voting

YERUSHALAYIM -

Despite Israel’s reputation as a “start-up nation,” vote counting remains a low-tech process. The little paper ballots bearing party initials placed into envelopes in cardboard boxes are opened and tallied one by one, all night long. As such, Israelis are used to going to bed on election night often not expecting to know the final results until they wake up the next morning.

The Green Party wants to change that. As Israelis headed to the polls to cast their paper ballots on Tuesday, the Greens called upon the government to replace the existing system with an electronic voting system in the next elections, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Aside from speeding up the counting process, they argue that it will make Israeli elections more environmentally friendly as well. All the paper used in the current system creates a tremendous amount of waste, much of it ending up rolling through the streets that surround the polling stations.

A computerized voting system would also make it easier for people to vote. Those who  work or study a distance from their home polling station now have to travel home to vote. In the best of all possible voting worlds, they say, a computerized identity card would allow people to cast their vote at any polling station in the country.

A Central Election Committee spokesman said that the reasons why Israel has not yet adopted a more up-to-date system are “long and complicated.”

The CEC official did address the question of election-related litter, however. Although the law does not spell out who is responsible for disposing of the myriad posters and leaflets lying around after Election Day, the parties themselves should take responsibility.

“In my opinion, all parties — like all Israeli citizens — should participate in and advance the issue of recycling paper,” he said.