Over 53% of Eligible Israelis Have Voted

Stand for Israel  |  September 17, 2019

A wheelchair-bound man accompanied by his dogs and pet parrot prepares to cast his ballot during Israel's parliamentary election at a polling station in Tel Aviv on September 17, 2019. (Photo by GIL COHEN-MAGEN / AFP) (Photo credit should read GIL COHEN-MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images)

With Israel’s government holding its second election this year, many worried that voter apathy would hurt turnout. That does not seem to be the case, however. Israel Hayom’s Gideon Alon reports that more than half of all Israelis who can vote did vote, with 1.5% more participating this time than did in April:

The 2019 election do-over kicked off Tuesday morning as 10,885 voting stations across the country opened their doors at 7 a.m. to 6,394,030 eligible voters. The majority of voting stations will close at 10 p.m.

In the previous election, in April, parties needed 32,860 votes for one Knesset mandate. To pass the electoral threshold, parties needed 3.25% of the overall votes.  The voter turnout rate in the April election was 68.5%.

As of 6 p.m., 3,418,531 voters had cast their ballots, 53.5% of eligible voters and 1.5 percentage points more than had voted at the same time on Election Day on April 9.

In the 70 years since the country’s first election, the voter turnout rate has steadily declined. The 1949 election recorded an all-time high turnout of 86.9%.

In 1951, when the country held its second general election, the turnout rate dropped to 75.1%. But over the next five consecutive elections, until the election in 1973, over 80% of Israelis voted. However, in the election that took place on December 31, 1973, several months after the Yom Kippur War, the number dropped to 78.6%. From that point up to the election for the 16th Knesset in 2003, every election saw a voter turnout rate between 77%-79%…

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