More than half a foot of snow couldn't keep some of the first votes for the upcoming Israeli election from being cast.
Some of the first votes for the Israeli election are in.
Though a bigger turnout had been expected, some 25 Israelis braved the snowstorm that struck the Philadelphia region and surrounding areas on March 5 to make their way to the Consulate of Israel to the Mid-Atlantic Region, based in Center City Philadelphia.
There, an official ballot box was made available for Israelis who are in the region on government business to cast their votes for the upcoming Knesset elections, which is slated to be held in Israel on March 17. Only Israelis here for such reasons are allowed to vote. There are no absentee ballots for Israelis who live or are traveling abroad.
These elections are expected to be tightly contested with current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party facing staunch competition from Isaac Herzog’s center-left Zionist Union, as well as from multiple other parties. The party that wins the most votes will get the green light to try to form a government coalition.
“While the snow prevented this day from going as planned, I was proud to open our doors to local Israelis to vote in this momentous election,” Consul General Yaron Sideman said in a statement. “Watching Israelis cast their votes in Philadelphia —a city that shares Israel’s values of free speech and democracy — is particularly poignant. I am proud to cast my vote today to secure the future peace and security of Israel and look forward to viewing the results on March 17.”