According to the Knesset Elections Law (Consolidated Version) of 1969, the Central Elections Committee is formed within 60 days of the induction of a newly formed Knesset. The Committee is established in order to carry out the elections process for the following Knesset.
The committee is chaired by a Supreme Court justice who is chosen by a group of Supreme Court justices.
The chairman of the Central Elections Committee for the 21st Knesset is Justice Hanan Melcer.
The members of the committee are representatives of the parliamentary groups in the Knesset: For each parliamentary group having four or more members, there is one member in the Central Elections Committee per four members of Knesset. Any parliamentary group with fewer than four members has at least one representative on the Committee.
The Central Elections Committee for the 21th Knesset has 30 members.
The Chairperson of the Central Elections Committee has four deputies from the four largest parliamentary groups in the Knesset. The Knesset House Committee may increase the number of deputies to eight and may determine from which parliamentary groups these deputies will be. For this election, the Chairperson of the committee has seven deputies, one each from the Likud, HaBayit HaYehudi, Yesh Atid, Zionist Union, Yisrael Beitenu, Shas and the Joint Arab List.
At the head of the Committee staff stands the Director General, Orly Adas, Attorney-at-Law. At her side is a minimal staff which functions throughout the tenure of the Committee.
Approximately three months before elections, 19 regional committees are set up. Each committee is chaired by a judge, and the proportional membership of each committee (including its political make-up) is identical to that of the Central Elections Committee.
At the same time, the number of staff on the Central Committee is increased, both at the headquarters and in the regional committees, and totals more than 800 people who are employed by the Committee for approximately 3 months. On the day of the elections, the number of employees working under the Committee reaches about 40,000.
Functions of the Central Elections Committee:
- Receiving of the lists of candidates and approving them.
- Preparing all of the materials for the elections and transferring them to the polling stations.
- Organizing the irregular voting to take place at the diplomatic representations abroad, in the hospitals, prisons, detention centers, and helping the IDF organize the voting for soldiers.
- Recruiting secretaries for the polling-station committees, and staffing the committees with representatives of three outgoing Knesset parliamentary groups.
- Training all of the workers at the polling stations.
- Instructing the public and publicizing information via the media - both printed and electronic.
- Ensuring transportation to the polling station for any voter who wants such, and who is located at least 20km from the polling station where he/she is registered.
- Ensuring that proper procedure is followed on Election Day at each of the polling stations.
- Collecting the elections results from each polling station.
- Tallying the elections results, and dividing the 120 Knesset mandates.
- Producing certificates for each new Knesset Member confirming his/her election.
1. Financial and Economic Subcommittee
- This subcommittee is responsible for determining the Central Elections Committee budget
- Means of Operation of sub-committee with regards to budget
a. The subcommittee formulates the Elections Committee budget proposal, and does a detailed check of all sub-sections of the proposal, including comparing the expenses for the same sections in previous years (if such sections existed) and examining the needs with regards to the incoming fiscal year. The subcommittee submits the proposed budget to the Committee chairman and deputies, in order that they submit it to the committee plenum for approval. The approved budget proposal is then submitted to the Knesset Finance Committee, according to Section 134 of the Knesset Election Law (Consolidated Version) 5729, 1969
2. Legislative Subcommittee
a. The subcommittee examines the proposals to amend laws or ordinances that have been submitted for consideration by the Central Elections Committee, a committee member, a person with a government role or a private person. The subcommittee then submits recommendations to the Committee plenum.
b. Proposals for amendments to a law, which have been approved by the Committee plenum, the subcommittee may submit to the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee – if the amendments have not been tabled as proposed laws by a Knesset Member in the regular procedure in accordance with Knesset statutes for proposing laws.
c. Proposals for amendments to ordinances are submitted by the Committee plenum to the Minister of the Interior.
d. Proposals by the Minister of the Interior to amend ordinances, according to Section 145(a) of the law, are submitted to the plenum for confirmation, after they have been discussed in a preliminary deliberation, as stated in paragraph (a), and after the subcommittee's conclusions have been submitted to the Committee chairman and deputies.
3. Subcommittee for Special Voting Stations:
- Appointed by the instructions of the Knesset Elections statutes
a. In preparation for the elections, this subcommittee deals with all issues relating to voting by soldiers, seamen, diplomats and government representatives abroad, hospital inpatients, prisoners and detainees. This subcommittee also works during the voting times – collecting the votes, checking their validity and counting the slips according to statute regulations.
b. On all topics relating to special voting, the subcommittee holds its deliberations in the presence of a representative of any of the following ministers: Minister of the Interior, Minister of Transportation, Minister of Health or Minister of Internal Security; whichever is relevant. The ministry representatives are invited to the relevant deliberations.
c. The subcommittee is responsible for the confidentiality of all who vote at special voting stations.
4. Training Subcommittee
a. This subcommittee is responsible for training all voting-station committee members and secretaries, ushers and activists who work on Election Day.
b. While retaining the general nature of the above paragraph, the subcommittee also initiates (in an election year) training conferences for all members and people with roles in the voting-station committees in all election regions, and prepares a training workbook and training film to be screened on public television at intervals determined by the subcommittee.
5. Subcommittee for Voting-Station Locations and Voter Transportation
a. This subcommittee examines the proposal of voting regions and voting station locations in the new registry year. The proposal is submitted to the subcommittee by the Minister of the Interior, according to Section 13 of the law. The subcommittee submits its comments to the chairman and deputies, who present them to the plenum. The plenum decisions are given to the Miniter of the Interior.
b. According to Section 18 of the Political Party Funding Law of 5773, 1973, this subcommittee deals with voters' transportation.
c. While retaining the general nature of the above, the subcommittee recommends the distance from one's voting station which defines eligibility for transportation, and the means of transportation – determined in meetings between the subcommittee and bodies which provide this service to voters.
d. All proposals and conclusions of this subcommittee are subject to approval by the plenum, as stated in Section 18 of the Funding Law.
6. Tenders Subcommittee
- This subcommittee deals with all purchases and communication for the Central Elections Committee, in accordance with the Tenders Law 5752, 1992, and the law's ordinances, and according to any instructions given by the Finance Ministry to all government offices with regards to tenders.