Elections are general, national, direct, equal,
secret, and proportional. The entire country constitutes a single
electoral constituency, and all citizens are eligible to vote from age
18. On Election Day, voters cast a ballot for a political party to
represent them in the Knesset.
Election Day is a national holiday, free transportation is available
to voters who happen to be outside their polling district on that day
and polling stations are provided for military personnel, hospital
patients, and prisoners, as well as for merchant seamen and Israelis on
official assignment abroad.
The Central Elections Committee, headed by a justice of the Supreme
Court and including representatives of the parties holding Knesset
seats, is responsible for conducting the elections. Regional election
committees oversee the proper functioning of local polling committees,
which include representatives of at least three parties in the outgoing
In each election to date, between 77 and 90 percent of all registered
voters have cast their ballots, expressing the great interest taken by
most Israelis in their national and local politics.
Knesset elections are based on a vote for a party rather than for
individuals, and the many political parties which run for the Knesset
reflect a wide range of outlooks and beliefs.