This week, the American Citizens Gemach, Agudath Israel’s constituent services branch in Israel, organized Voting Fairs for U.S. citizens at various Israeli locales. Agudath Israel staff and volunteers were on hand to assist voters with the paperwork that is required when casting a vote via absentee ballot and other voting-related issues.
In addition to Voting Fairs in Beitar Illit, and Ramat Bet Shemesh, we also organized two events tailored to Americans studying in Israel. We were overwhelmed by the tremendous response to the men’s event in Jerusalem. Over 1300 Yeshiva students and yungerleit (married men) poured into Zvil Hall in Jerusalem, Wednesday night.
The event was scheduled to begin at 7:00 PM, but a steady flow of people were already entering the hall by 6:30. There was tremendous enthusiasm in the air as ballots were filled out, and subsequently cast into our makeshift polling boxes for Agudath Israel to mail them to the US. The excitement rose further when we announced that we were conducting anonymous exit polls at the door (results will be released next week).
Our Seminary event proved to be a highlight as well. Girls from over 20 seminaries made their way to Geula to make sure their voices are heard and counted. One girl related that her parents are thrilled to see that Agudath Israel of America works in Eretz Yisroel as well, ensuring that voters like her are not disenfranchised.
One more event is scheduled to take place this coming Sunday, October 28, 8-9:30 PM in Kiryat Sefer at Eshkol HaPayis, 59 Avnei Nezer Street. If you have questions about filling out your ballot, or are registered but haven’t received a ballot, we will be pleased to assist you. Please bring your ballot, if you have one, a pen and a state ID and/or your social security number.
In most states absentee ballots must arrive at each person’s local county by November 6 in order to be valid. We are encouraging anyone who has received an absentee ballot but not yet filled it out, to please do so immediately. To ensure that your ballot reaches your local district by the deadline, we suggest that you drop off your ballot at an AGC drop box for forwarding to the United States, or mail it on your own, no later than Sunday, October 28.
Voters who did not attend one of our events and have not received their absentee ballots in the mail, may still be able to vote using a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot. Ballots can be downloaded here: www.overseasvotefoundation.org/vote/home.htm (Note that if you aren’t registered to vote, deadlines have already passed in nearly all states.) Since deadlines for submitting ballots are very soon, you should download your ballot immediately. For more information about where to drop off your ballot for mailing to the US, please call in Israel: 03-912-5626 or in the US: 212-797-7383 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.