Israel’s representatives throughout the world will vote on Thursday, March 16, 2006, nearly two weeks before national elections take place in Israel on March 28.

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

Israel’s representatives throughout the world will vote on Thursday, March 16, 2006, nearly two weeks before national elections take place in Israel on March 28.

Voting will take place at Israel’s 92 legations abroad from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time. The first polling station for diplomats will open in Canberra, Australia, at midnight Wednesday, Israel time; the last to close will be in Los Angeles and San Francisco, California, on Friday at 6 a.m. Israel time.

The country’s diplomats have voted in Knesset elections since 1990, when the Knesset passed a law enabling absentee balloting for diplomatic and consular representatives abroad.

Some 4,500 representatives have the right to vote abroad, including civil servants; Jewish Agency, Jewish National Fund, and Keren Hayesod emissaries; plus their spouses and children of voting age. Voting at legations abroad is conducting upon presentation of the voter’s registration card and an identifying document, such as a driver’s license or passport.

The legations with the most registered voters are New York, Washington, Berlin, Paris, Brussels, and London; the smallest numbers are at Nouakchott (Mauritania), Yangon (Myanmar), and Hanoi (Viet Nam).

Each legation appoints two persons to conduct the voting, backed up by two alternates. The course of the election is monitored in Jerusalem at the ministry’s situation room computers, with real-time data on the opening and closing of legation polling stations, as well as the voter turnout. Polling booths and other voting equipment were sent to Israel’s legations via diplomatic pouch, and ballots are to arrive back in Jerusalem by national Election Day on March 28.