Only Some Israelis Vote for Knesset 19

Today is Election Day in Israel for the 19th Knesset

and some are calling it a celebration of democracy.

photo Israeli election box

For a hi-tech country voting is decidedly low-tech,

photo Israeli election

with a cardboard ballot box and voting booth in a school classroom.

Israeli election photo

 Inside the booth, write-in votes are possible with a pen on white paper.

Israeli election photo

The nice workers in our polling place were happy to pose for a photo.

Israeli election photo

Across the hall the scene was similar,

Israeli election photo

and though the turnout is described as heavy,

the lines were short at midday.

BUT,

stairs photo

in order to get to the voting place you had to climb stairs, lots of stairs.

While I was trying to get a good angle to show a serious problem,

Israeli election photo

a friend who had moved to Haifa came up the stairs to vote.

However, for the disabled and many elderly in the neighborhood,

there was nothing to smile about.

Israeli election photo

Outside, to get in the building there were more stairs,

Israeli election photo

and for some getting down could be as hard as going up to vote.

Israeli election photo

As I left, this woman with two walking sticks tried to vote, 

 and I do not know how long it took her to do all those stairs.

The situation for access of the disabled and elderly  

is terrible in many of the old buildings in Jerusalem, Israel.

Jerusalem election day photo

One thing no one could complain about was the weather.

blocked sidewalks

Even though many sidewalks are still blocked by trees downed by the snow,

photo from Israeli election day

today was a day to get outside and enjoy the spring-like weather.

The temperatures certainly added to a party atmosphere, 

but access for disabled must become a priority.

I still think it is outrageous that someone in a wheel chair

has a hard time to vote in a democracy.

There are  locations for wheel chair access,

but isn’t it time to make public buildings accessible?

6 thoughts on “Only Some Israelis Vote for Knesset 19

  1. I know that there were special places for handicapped people to vote and transportation was provided. But I guess not everyone knew about this?

  2. Glad you are bringing up this difficulty! As I spent a fair amount of time taking care of my father z”l last year, I learned how so many buildings are not equipped for the disabled. I managed to get him an absentee ballot for the U.S. elections. Sounds like as SaraK pointed out there was supposed to be special places for handicapped to vote, but it was poorly publicized?

    • There were polling places, but not well advertised and not convenient.
      My father had to change dentists when the office blocked an entrance so his wheel chair could not get in.
      I want to take photos of one shul where a man in a wheel chair can get an aliyah to the Torah.
      First time was so special to see, so wished I had a Shabat camera.
      There are way too many public buildings in Jerusalem that are not accessible, and imporvement is way too slow.

  3. Pingback: Haveil Havalim 396 |Thinking Torah

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