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Head of Democrats in Israel says outlets should wait to call races

The head of the Israel chapter Democrats Abroad calls on state governments and media networks to refrain from making calls until all absentee ballots have been counted.

Heather Stone tells The Times of Israel that given the record number of mail-in and absentee ballots submitted in this year’s election, secretaries of state must be assured that the number of these ballots do not exceed the vote differential in each state before a winner is declared.

In critical swing states like Pennsylvania, officials only begin counting absentee ballots on the day after the election.

“All the votes need to be counted and it’s important to make sure that every voice is heard and to give secretaries of state the opportunity to get their numbers right before any numbers are called,” Stone says.

The Democratic activist says a Biden victory would be a positive development for Israel.

“Biden will return the US to its rightful position of being a world leader in foreign policy and in the international community. When the US is strong and is leading by its democratic principles and values, it’s a good ally for its friends such as Israel and a strong deterrent for its enemies such as Iran.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Vice President Joe Biden, January 13, 2014. (photo credit: Haim Zach/GPO/Flash 90)

Stone says she’s optimistic as ballots have started to be counted in several states.

“The team here in Israel worked hard turning out voters in Pennsylvania and Florida through phone and text banking,” she says.

On the ground in Israel, the Democrats Abroad chapter doubled its membership, which now stands in the thousands, Stone says, while refraining from giving an exact number.

“The international numbers for web traffic on our voter registration site were over a million, and IP addresses from Israel tripled what they were in 2016,” she says. “We’re looking to have two times, if not more, of the voters we had in Israel in the last election.”

— Jacob Magid

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