Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Vote early, vote often

Today we voted in our very first Israeli elections! Exciting stuff.

After being told that we weren't eligible to vote, we received voting cards in the mail. Which, naturally, confused us. Upon investigation, we discovered that the candidate for mayor who informed us we weren't eligible, was wrong. That does not bode well for a mayoral candidate. And it meant we had to cram about who to vote for.

So today, we took our voter cards, found our polling place, asked for help in English, listened to one of the volunteers make a joke about all the people asking for help in English - probably not realizing that we understood what she was saying - and were shown to our voting room.

Only one person at a time can go into the whole room. I showed my Teudat Zehut (identity card), gave the (thankfully English-speaking person who was extremely friendly and helpful and enthusiastic about this being my first time voting in Israel) my voting card, she confirmed me on the list (I was dead last) and gave me a yellow envelope (for mayor) and a white envelope (for city council). I took my envelopes, went behind a cardboard screen, picked up a yellow square of paper with my candidate's name on it and put it in the yellow envelope, then picked up a square of white paper with the party's designation on it and put that in the white envelope. Then I came out from behind the cardboard screen, and placed my envelopes in the big box and "ze hu!" I was done.

I don't know what they would have done if I didn't read Hebrew, but I was excited that I could read all the candidate's names without thinking about it. It's such a simple process here, yet I feel disproportionately proud about voting. Maybe because it emphasizes the fact that I am here. Gee, how am I going to feel about voting in the Federal election??

(yes, yes, I know, we need to post more. It's hard during Ulpan. Ulpan sucks your brain dry. There is no thought power left after Ulpan. Well, after Ulpan and Facebook.)


Arlan Wareham said...

Thanks for posting your story about voting. I just posted my story on my blog, and it was fairly similar to yours. This is actually our SECOND time voting here (since we voted in the national election in the Spring of 2006), but this is our first time for the local elections.

Alissa Altman said...

So you did it backwards from us, because I assume we'll be voting in the national election in February ;)