Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Polls Have Closed

Well, it's over . We voted and now we wait for the results. I went early this morning and young people representing the various parties were situated with tables and handouts - just in case you hadn't decided yet how to vote. It was quite a smooth procedure once in the voting station (mine was in a local school building as were many). Mayoral candidates were each identified by a yellow slip with their name on it, and City Council parties all were designated by two letters standing for the party (e.g.טב ) and each one had a white slip. So, you pick up the yellow slip for the Mayor you want, and the white slip for the council party you want to vote for, stick them in the corresponding color-coded envelopes, drop the envelopes in the box ..and voilà, you are done!! Slick!
So who is winning? The final votes won't be counted 'til morning, if then, but the exit polls in Jerusalem are showing secular Barkat winning over hareidi candidate Porush. Much of the national religious camp favored Barkat because they felt he was the best candidate to deliver a unified City and have the most influence regarding the issue Olmert and others have dangled over our heads - that of dividing Jerusalem between Jewish and Arab populations.
There were some interesting incidents.....hareidim blocking voters from going into the polls, Arab leaders forbidding the Arab population to vote, which is another story altogether, slips for Barkat reportedly disappearing, and Porush supposedly bringing busloads of people who are somehow Jerusalem residents but living in other Israeli cities, into Jerusalem to vote. Since the polls closed at 10 pm and Barkat was needing a large turnout, all through the evening megaphoned cars went through my neighborhood urging people to get out and vote for Barkat - even volunteers knocking at my door late into the evening.
This, for the mayor of Jerusalem.. a teaser for the national elections coming up in February. (we hope!!!!!)

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