Overcoming Voter Suppression in the Negev

6 October 2022

With Israel’s election less than a month away, not every citizen will have easy access to the ballot box. Last month, Israel’s Election Commission rejected a petition to place polling stations in the unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev. Already living in the most marginalized communities in Israel, tens of thousands of voters in these Negev villages will have no way to get to their polling stations.

In recent years, hundreds have donated or volunteered to drive voters to distant polling stations to overcome this voter suppression. This year, activists are collaborating with the residents of the area and are a support. NIF grantee Zazim has stepped up to recruit more women to volunteer to drive voters to the polling stations and raise funds needed to hire local field coordinators and train volunteers. Ultimately, though, the responsibility to make voting accessible to all citizens rests with the Israeli government.