The problem with elections in Israel is not that they take place, but how much they cost – and how that cost is borne by business, according to the Economy Ministry. That loss is due to the fact that Election Day for the Knesset is a national day off – so the obvious solution, according to the Ministry, is to turn Election Day into a regular work day.
Therefore the Ministry has been working on such a law, and is prepared in the coming days to present it to the Knesset. Businesses will be free to give their employees a day off, but it will not be recognized as such by the government or tax officials. Thus, workers who are employed on Election Day will receive their regular salaries instead of the 200% they have been getting for working on a national day off.
The proposal also aims not to interfere with school. Voting in Israel is generally done in schools, and the law calls for voting to take place after classes. Students will attend classes until noon, and for the next few hours preparations will be made for polling. Polls will be open between 2 p.m. and midnight.
While it will be brought up for discussion, there is no guarantee that the law will be ready within the coming months in order to turn a prospective third Knesset election in 2019 into a regular work day. The Ministry said that the law would save the economy some NIS 2.5 billion each time an election is held.