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 Knesset.
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.