Ambassador Danny Danon: Coronavirus-Conscious Israel Doesn’t Have Vote-by-Mail; ‘The Old System Is the Best System’

Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon, speaks to the press at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on November 20, 2019 about the security situation in Israel prior to a Security Council meeting on the "situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question." (Timothy A. Clary/AFP …
Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

Israel does not allow vote-by-mail despite its public health restrictions regarding the coronavirus, former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon said on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Sunday in an interview with host Joel Pollak.

Pollak asked if Israelis are permitted to do absentee voting or vote-by-mail.

“In general, no,” Danon replied.  “We do not have absentee ballots. If you are overseas, you cannot vote [and] you cannot cast your vote by mail. You have to personally go and vote.”

He added, “We don’t have [vote by mail]. We ask people to come, and because we have still some COVID restrictions, we built a mechanism to help people. Even if you have COVID, you will have people that will come to your house, and you will be able to vote, or they will take you [to a polling station] with a special car and specialized transportation, they will take you to cast your vote. So anyone can vote, but we do not have a vote-by-mail [system].”

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Pollak asked, “Are there special polling places for people who are under quarantine or who have COVID?”

Danon responded, “Yes, there are special places, and … for the first time, we have a transportation system that will actually come and take those people who have COVID, we will take them to the polling stations.”

Danon noted mail-in voting is more vulnerable to fraud than standard in-person voting.

“We have a tradition,” he explained. “We have a very strict law about [voting], and here we have a lot of technology — we are the start-up nation — but when it comes to votes, we believe that the old system is the best system in terms of counting the votes.”

He continued, “You don’t want to take that risk [with vote-by-mail]. You want to make sure that the votes are counted where people actually cast their votes. We don’t like to see any travel of the votes, not in polling stations, not the Internet. The best and the most secure way is to count the votes right in the place where people actually voted.”

Votes in Israel’s elections are counted by hand, Danon noted. “Once the ballots start to travel, the result starts to change. So you don’t want to take that risk. You want to make sure that … people in the committee will count the exact vote in the same location and report the results immediately.”

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