Early election votes by Israeli diplomats, emissaries abroad show drop in turnout

September 8, 2019 by JNS
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Early voting for Israeli diplomats and emissaries around the world in Israel’s second round of elections this year ended on Friday with a low turnout compared to the results in April.

Itzhak Gerberg, Israeli Ambassador to New Zealand casts the first vote worldwide on September 5, 2019 in Wellington, New Zealand (Israel Foreign Ministry)

Israelis stationed in embassies and consulates were able to vote on Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. in their local time zone.

Israel’s ambassador to Australia Mark Sofer casts his vote in Canberra   Photo: Facebook

A total of 3,525 of the 5,086 people eligible for early voting cast ballots at 96 diplomatic missions around the world, resulting in a turnout of 69 per cent, a 7 per cent drop from the 76 per cent in April, according to the Central Elections Committee.

The response could be due to a number of factors, including voter fatigue and upcoming travel for the High Holidays.

All votes from across the globe are sealed in envelopes that are then sent to Jerusalem and held in a safe until they are counted on election day along with the rest of the national ballots.

According to Israeli law, private citizens living abroad cannot vote unless they come to Israel.

An exception is made for diplomats and emissaries working abroad for the Jewish Agency, KKL-JNF, Keren Hayesod and the World Zionist Organization. Their spouses and children, between the ages of 18 and 20, can also cast ballots abroad.

JNS

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