Election workers in Israel refuse to touch ballots of those with possible coronavirus exposure


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Election workers in Israel refused to touch the envelopes with special ballots cast by those in home quarantine over possible coronavirus exposure, leaving the counting to senior election officials.

Members of the Central Elections Committee, including its director, will count the 4,076 special ballots on Wednesday morning wearing protective gear, including masks and gloves, Ynet reported. The counting will take place in a tent set up outside the Knesset building in Jerusalem.

The measures may be overkill: The Israel Medical Association told Ynet that coronavirus is not known to have been transmitted via paper.

Twelve Israelis have tested positive for the coronavirus, and more than 5,600 are in home quarantine over possible exposure.

Israelis in quarantine to prevent the spread of the virus voted Monday at 16 special polling places throughout the country. They were asked to arrive at the special polling places unaccompanied by private vehicle, not to stop on the way to the polling place and to return straight home.

Trained paramedics dressed in full head-to-toe protective gear, including gloves and masks, staffed the polling locations. Votes were collected in a specially lined ballot box.

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