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Israeli legislative elections: Polls open across Israel

April 9, 2019 12:11 P.M. (Updated: April 10, 2019 3:26 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Election polls have opened across Israel on Tuesday morning as 6.3 million eligible voters cast their ballots to assemble the next Knesset at more than 10,000 locations.

The election is widely seen as a race between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, Blue and White party leader.

According to a poll published last week by Israel's Channel 12, in which respondents were asked who they would prefer to see as prime minister, 37% said Netanyahu and 35% said Gantz.

Hebrew-language sources said that about 17,000 Israeli police forces were to be deployed across Israel, in addition to imposing a general closure on the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip border crossings until midnight on Wednesday.

While in some countries voting is compulsory, in Israel it is optional, however, election day is considered a national holiday, in order to facilitate the electoral process.
It is noteworthy that votes are cast in Israel by paper ballot only, in order to minimize the potential for cyber attacks on the electoral process.
The votes of Israeli soldiers, hospital patients, inmates, women in shelters, election officials, and diplomats in foreign countries are collectively known as "double envelopes," which are counted last.
The final results will be announced on Thursday morning after the Central Elections Committee (CEC) finishes counting all the votes, including the double envelopes.
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