Polling Stations Close, Counting Begins
Polling stations across Israel have closed, with counting now beginning in the country's municipal elections held every five years. The most recent turnout was given as 42.63%.
By 8.30 p.m. Ministry Interior statistics said 32% of voters had turned out in the capital Jerusalem, while In Tel Aviv, under a quarter of residents, 22% had cast ballots according to the ministry.
By 7 p.m. far higher turnouts had already been recorded in the hareidi-religious cities of Elad and Kiryat Sefer, where 65% cast votes, although the highest voter turn was recorded in the Bedouin town of Arah where 94% turned out.
Beit Shemesh, where tensions have been high owing to recent religious secular tensions, has seen 45% cast votes.
Five minutes to decide five years
Earlier Tuesday, Minister of the Interior Gidon Saar released a statement urging Israelis to get out and vote. “Each resident invests just a few minutes in casting a vote, and it has significance for the next five years,” he said.
Unlike in national elections, when voters select a party list alone, in the municipal elections voters were asked to make two choices: a local political party, and a mayoral candidate.