Overseas diplomats set to cast first ballots in national election

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The first ballots of Israel’s upcoming national election were set to be cast two days before the election date.

Israeli representatives stationed in 98 diplomatic missions throughout the world were due to begin voting Wednesday evening Israel time in elections for the 20th Knesset, according to a statement issued by the Knesset.

Some 6,250 representatives abroad are eligible to vote in the elections. Other Israelis working or living abroad cannot cast absentee ballots. Israeli citizens must be in the country on the day of the election in order to vote.

The first votes are set to be cast at the Israeli consulate in Wellington, New Zealand, at 11 p.m Wednesday in Israel, which is morning there, and the last 36 hours later in San Francisco. The consulate in New York has the highest number of eligible voters, with about 600.

Israelis go to the polls on March 17.