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Sunday, January 6, 2013
President Shimon Peres and Central Elections Committee Chairman Judge Elyakim Rubinstein, launch the advocacy campaign to encourage voting for the 19th Knesset

Sunday 6th January, 2013

President Shimon Peres and Central Elections Committee Chairman Judge
Elyakim Rubinstein, launch the advocacy campaign to encourage voting for the
19th Knesset

President Shimon Peres, and Central Elections Committee
Chairman Judge Elyakim Rubinstein, this morning (Sunday, 6 January 2013), at
the President's Residence, launched the advocacy campaign to encourage
voting for the 19th Knesset. President Peres called upon all Israelis to
exercise their democratic right to vote in the upcoming elections.

President Peres delivered a speech at the event after which, alongside four
Israeli students, he unveiled the video and Facebook application, entitled
"Bocher Mavi Chaver" which translates as "Voter brings a Friend." In order
to encourage voting, a unique collaboration took place between

President Peres and actor Eyal Kitzis, who volunteered for the project to
highlight the importance of voting in Israel's elections, called upon
Israelis to invite four friends to get out and vote. President Peres said,
"It's crucial that you come and vote, I turn to you and ask you, go to my
Facebook page and send an invitation to four of your friends to also come
and vote."

In his speech, President Peres stressed the importance of voting for the
Knesset and said, "I call upon every young person with the right to vote for
the first time, don't miss the opportunity. When you vote you respect not
only your country but also yourselves as citizens. Voting is a civic duty of
the utmost importance; the result will personally impact each and every one
of us personally and form our collective future. Democracy is meant to
protect the freedom of the individual and the fairness of society. If
citizens don't take part then democracy remains a mere statement. So every
citizen should go and cast their ballot, go and vote."

Through the social network campaign, Internet users will be able to ensure
that their friends have voted by seeing who has "Checked In" on Facebook
when they arrive at the ballot box. The aim of the application is to
mobilize voters to fulfill their democratic right to vote, but also to
encourage social network users to invite additional friends pledge to vote.
The application immediately began spreading online with the first 70 to
pledge to go out and vote being final year high school students from across
Jerusalem who attended the event. Also involved in the production was Yaron
Shilon, director at the satire show "Eretz Nehederet" (Wonderful Country),
and Sari Alfi, scriptwriter for the show "Mazav HaUma" (State of the

Central Elections Committee Chairman Judge Elyakim Rubinstein, delivered a
speech in which he addressed the importance of voting in the Knesset
elections, "The Central Elections Committee is managing a huge civic
operation which is apolitical to ensure free and fair elections at over
10,500 voting stations across the country from the north to the south, in
the IDF, at hospitals, senior citizen centers and Israeli embassies and
consulates across the world."

Judge Rubinstein added, "They say that young people have no faith in
politics; the cynicism that sometimes comes from the political system is met
by cynicism in return. But despite that, we saw a wave of youth involvement
in summer of 2011 in a political protest, which shows an interest in public
life. The way to influence is at the voting booth, if you do not vote, you
are not making use of that tool of influence, whether you are satisfied with
the current situation or seek change. Voting affects us all collectively and
each of you individually. Our elected representatives will determine our
future in the coming years in terms of security, diplomacy, the peace
process, education, the economy, welfare and the environment; and the
fulfillment of the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic
state. When serving in the IDF during your compulsory and reserve duty the
elected government will determine your fate, and that is a heavy burden of
critical significance to the state and to you. That is why I believe voting
is both a right and a privilege."

Judge Rubinstein emphasized the importance of the Arab population taking
part in the elections and as the voter turnout amongst the Arab population
is particularly low Judge Rubinstein addressed that sector in Arabic
and said, "To our minority citizens, we invite you to take part in the
elections. We want to persuade you of the importance of taking part both for
the state and for you individually and in the battle for full equality"

A link to the Facebook Application on the President's Facebook Page -

For additional information:

Ayelet Frish Spokesperson and Media Adviser to the President of Israel,

Yair Zivan International Media Coordinator, Office of the President of
Israel, 052-3450061

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