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.
For a hi-tech country voting is decidedly low-tech,
with a cardboard ballot box and voting booth in a school classroom.
Inside the booth, write-in votes are possible with a pen on white paper.
The nice workers in our polling place were happy to pose for a photo.
Across the hall the scene was similar,
and though the turnout is described as heavy,
the lines were short at midday.
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,
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.
Outside, to get in the building there were more stairs,
and for some getting down could be as hard as going up to vote.
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.
One thing no one could complain about was the weather.
Even though many sidewalks are still blocked by trees downed by the snow,
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?