Low-Tech Israeli Voting Gets High-Tech Help

YERUSHALAYIM -
New Hope party leader Gideon Saar campaigns ahead of the March 23 general election, at a market in Tel Aviv, Israel March 17, 2021. (Reuters/Amir Cohen)

Israelis still vote by dropping a paper ballot in an envelope, later to be counted by hand, but Election Day, March 23 will see a high-tech innovation: Drones tracking the progress at polling stations across the country.

The Central Elections Committee plans to deploy the unmanned aircraft to monitor the lines at 751 selected polling stations, designated for the sick and quarantined from COVID-19, CEE director Orly Ades said at an online press conference on Thursday.

If the drones find that the lines are too long at one location, voters will be directed to other special polling stations. Vans and taxis are being organized to take the sick and quarantined to vote.

In addition, four polling stations will operate in Ben-Gurion Airport for returning Israelis to vote. There has never been a polling station in the airport before, and there is no voting abroad for Israelis who are not employed in the diplomatic corps.

The stations will be placed in the terminal prior to passport control.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of IDF soldiers cast ballots in an early voting program on Wednesday at over 335 polling stations on army bases, Maariv reported.