Local Elections / Hitchhiker's Guide to Ballot Galaxy

4.7 million Israelis have right to vote in Tuesday's municipal elections for 159 local authorities.

Some 4.7 million Israelis have the right to vote in Tuesday's municipal elections. Voters will cast their ballots in 159 of the 253 local authorities, and in almost all cases voters will have two ballots: one for the local authority head and one for a list of council members.

In three localities where there is only a single candidate for council head, voters will only select council members.

When can I vote?

Polling stations will open at 7 A.M. and close at 10 P.M. In communities with less than 3,500 registered voters, the polls will close at 8 P.M.

Who is eligible to vote?

Every resident of a local authority 17 and older who is listed in the voter registry. Non-citizens who are permanent residents may also vote in local elections.

How can I find out where I am supposed to vote?

The Central Elections Committee sent out notices to all registered voters, which included the location of the voter's polling place. Voters can also determine where to cast their ballot by calling the Interior Ministry's call center toll free: 1-800-300-059.

How do I vote?

Voters identify themselves at the polls with an identity card, passport or driver's license. The yellow ballot is for council head and the white is for council members.

How do soldiers, police and prison guards vote?

If they are on duty on election day, they will be able to vote in polling stations on their bases, using a double-envelope system.

How do mobility-restricted voters vote?

Every local authority has at least one accessible polling place.

How is the council-head winner determined?

The winner has the most valid votes, but at least 40 percent. If no candidates achieves 40 percent, a second-round runoff will be held in two weeks between the two candidates with the most votes.

How are council seats divided up?

The seats are divided up based on the following formula: The number of valid votes divided by the number of council seats in the authority times 0.75. Therefore, the minimum percentage of votes needed to win a seat differs from authority to authority. For example, in a local authority with 15 council seats, the minimum threshold of votes needed to gain a seat is 5 percent.

When do we get the results?

During the day the Interior Ministry will announce national turnout levels. The first actual results will start to arrive at around 1 A.M., and full results are expected later in the morning. The official results will be announced within 21 days after the elections.

Will television stations release exit polls?

Channel 10 will broadcast its predictions at 10:30 P.M., half an hour after the polls close. Channel 2 will not report polls, but will report actual results as they come in. Channel 1 will report its exit polls of the Jerusalem race at 10 P.M.