Israel’s quarantined voters came out in force, but no one wants to count the ballots

The Israel Medical Association is criticizing those who fear catching the coronavirus from a ballot.

By Aaron Sull, World Israel News

Following a statewide refusal by election staff to count the ballots of those suspected of carrying the coronavirus, the task has fallen to senior officials in the Central Elections Committee (CEC), reports Times of Israel.

According to the report, each of the 4,076 “coronavirus” ballots is expected to be opened on Wednesday, possibly in a specially equipped tent, by CEC senior officials wearing masks and gloves.

CEC director Orly Adas told Ynet on Tuesday that she had asked Magen David Adom medics to oversee the counting.

The Israel Medical Association (IMA) criticized what they consider to be over-the-top precautions.

“As far as is known, the coronavirus is not transferred via objects such as voting slips and there are no reports of the disease transferred in that way,” the IMA said in a statement.

“The public should be instructed to reduce transmission of the virus in accordance with scientific knowledge and public health principles, based on science rather than fears,” it said.

Earlier in the day, Channel 12 news agency reported that Israeli election officials were refusing to count the “coronavirus” ballots over fear of contracting the disease.

On Monday, suspected carriers of the coronavirus were permitted to leave quarantine and vote in one of the 16 special tents created for them.

Suspected carriers were told to drive alone and refrain from making any stops along the way.

After reaching the tent, the voters were met at a booth by a staff member in a protective suit who verified their identity. Each was then provided with a mask, gloves, an envelope with necessary forms and a disposable pen.

The tent was divided by a plastic partition. On one side sat Magen David Adom paramedics, specially trained for overseeing the polls, who oversaw the voters standing one at a time on the other side.

The voters were then instructed to return straight home to quarantine.