Tzipi Livni's day / 'Not out of fear, but in hope'
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni started Election Day by voting at the Yisgav School in Tel Aviv's Ramat Hahayal neighborhood, near her house.
She slipped her ballot into the box as heavy rain pounded the city. "I did what I expect every citizen to do. First of all to leave the house - rain or no rain, hot or cold - go out and vote. Stand in the booth and decide not out of fear, but in hope. I voted for Kadima today, and I know many others will vote like me," she said.
A large number of supporters and campaign staffers were waiting for her when she left the school. Livni was very optimistic. "We will do it today. Kadima is going to win, I know it, and the public knows that today," she said.
She told reporters she was not worried about the wintry weather. "I saw in America how people turn out in the freezing cold. I don't believe that only a few Israeli raindrops will keep people from leaving home and determining their future," she said.
Livni then went on a campaign tour, visiting polling stations in Ramat Gan and Bat Yam schools. In the afternoon she visited party headquarters in Petah Tikva. There, too she radiated optimism and potential victory. Ministers Avi Dichter and Haim Ramon came too, as did Livni's husband, Naftali Shpitzer. "I have never seen an election campaign with so many undecideds," said Dichter, the chairman of Kadima's Election Day campaign.
Dichter complained about attempts to sabotage Kadima ballots. In two cases the party filed complaints with the police: Once after several instances in which the party's ballots were defaced, and another against an election official who accompanied people into the booth.