The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), members of their staff and others, recently held a virtual briefing with Israeli elections officials to discuss ways of keeping polling places safe, and to help ensure voter turnout during the coronavirus pandemic. In partnership with American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) Project Interchange, the Israeli officials participating were Israeli Central Elections Committee Director-General Orly Adas and Chief Legal Counsel Dean Livne.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, election officials both here in the U.S. and around the world are working day and night to keep our elections, voters and poll workers safe. During this unprecedented time, it is hugely important to work with our allies like Israel to ask questions and learn from one another. Today’s briefing was an excellent conversation and I look forward to continued dialogue,” said Paul Pate, NASS President and Iowa Secretary of State.
“In March, Israel conducted national elections, with precautions instituted to ensure voting and safeguarding of Israel’s election sites, voters and poll workers. Special “pop up” polling locations were staffed by paramedics wearing protective suits and masks. Voters and polling station staff were physically separated. Israel’s Health Ministry allowed those under quarantine who were asymptomatic to vote, so long as they wore face masks and gloves, did not use public transportation and followed other directives. As a result, voter turnout on March 2 was the highest since 1999.” NASS
“Israel’s experience conducting elections amidst the COVID-19 pandemic can provide important lessons for American state officials contemplating how to organize polling places to ensure the safety of voters and election workers,” said Nisha Abkarian, AJC Project Interchange Director.
The two organizations have worked together before. In December 2019, a bipartisan delegation of 11 NASS members led by association President Paul Pate visited Israel with AJC Project Interchange. They participated in discussions on cybersecurity policies and practices at the state, local, and federal level as it relates to business services, election administration, and records management.
Whether voting in America or Israel, voting is the best way to elect leaders you feel are best to run your country. If you are an American living overseas, now is the time to register to vote for the November General Election.
Need help with voting? A nonpartisan website was created by state election officials to help eligible voters figure out how and where to go vote.
- Submitting your Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) early is the best way to help ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
- Request your ballot to be emailed to you.
- Followup with your election department to make sure your FPCA was received and you are registered.
- Ballots will be emailed 45 days prior to election.
- If you don’t receive your ballot, no worries. You can vote using a Federal Write-In Ballot
- The only way to make sure your overseas ballot is counted is to return it before your state’s deadline.
YOUR VOTE IS YOUR VOICE!! “We do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.” – Thomas Jefferson