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      Voting Begins, Soldiers Cast Ballots

      Soldiers kick off the elections in Haifa, Ashdod. IDF sets up 150 wandering polling stations.
      By Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 1/20/2013, 8:34 AM

      IDF soldier stands near part of Iron Dome system
      IDF soldier stands near part of Iron Dome system
      Flash 90

      The 2013 elections began in Israel on Saturday night. The elections opened quietly, with some IDF soldiers stationed in the Kirya base in Tel Aviv casting their ballots.

      Voting among IDF soldiers is to continue Sunday at Navy bases in Haifa and Ashdod, in Border Police bases and in the elite Sayeret Matkal unit.

      On Monday voting will extend to soldiers in Judea, Samaria, the Jordan Valley and the Golan.

      The IDF has begun the voting process more than two days before the rest of the country in order to ensure that every soldier has a chance to cast a ballot. Many soldiers take part in days-long operations, and so cannot be sure that they will be available to vote on Tuesday.

      Because IDF operations are continuing as usual despite the elections, the military has provided nearly 800 polling stations, including 150 mobile stations that will move between various positions to ensure that each soldier has access.

      Senior military officials are working on the voting project. On Monday, Elections Committee head Justice Elyakim Rubenstein is expected to visit Gush Etzion to witness the voting process.

      For most soldiers, this will be the first time they are eligible to vote.