Very High Turnout in Elections
Voter turnout for Israel's elections was high Tuesday morning, with 38.3% of voters exercising their right to vote by 2:00 p.m.
The turnout for this hour was 4.4% higher than in the last elections, in 2009.
Turnout remained high into the afternoon, with 46.6% voting by 4 p.m. In comparison, in 2009 the turnout at 4 p.m. was 41.9%, and in 2006 it was 39%.
At 6 p.m., turnout remained higher than it had been for over a decade, with 55.5% coming out to vote.
The turnout by 12:00 noon Tuesday was the highest since the 1999 election, 14 years ago. One quarter of registered voters voted in the first five hours of the election, with 10 hours left.
In 2009, 23.4% had voted by 12:00. In 2006, the number had been 21.7%.
A high voter turnout is usually considered bad news for small parties that may not pass the threshold for entering the Knesset. It is also bad for hareidi parties, which enjoy a high turnout of their supporters and would rather see a low turnout among their rivals' supporters.
Likud's Gideon Saar was quoted as saying he is worried about the relatively high turnout in leftist strongholds.
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Israel votes, you watch. Live from Jerusalem, watch the Arutz Sheva election special sponsored by the Orthodox Union OU Israel Center today, Tuesday January 22nd from 9:00PM - 2:00AM Israel time / 2:00PM - 7:00PM Eastern Standard Time. Your phone calls will be taken. For more info click here.