COLORADO RESIDENTS vote in the US midterm elections.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
US citizens from 36 states voted from Israel in the 2014 midterm election last week, according to foreign voter facilitation organization iVoteIsrael.
“iVoteIsrael is pleased to announce that 30,000 Americans from 36 different states have cast their ballots in the 2014 elections from Israel,” iVoteIsrael national director Matt Solomon commented.
“This represents an unprecedented increase in voter participation from Israel in a non-presidential election.”
Solomon said that, typically, only 1 percent of American expatriates vote in non-presidential elections and 5% in presidential elections, but 18% of eligible US citizens in Israel voted in Tuesday’s election.
Data for international voter participation is not yet available.
In 2012, 80,000 Americans in Israel voted in the presidential election, over half of those eligible, making up over 25% of all overseas voters.
Solomon posited that US citizens living in Israel found the souring relations between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama, including an anonymous White House staffer calling the premier “chickenshit” in an Atlantic article, very distressing.
“Voting came to be seen as a unique outlet for American voters in Israel to proclaim their commitment to a strong US-Israel relationship, even if that is not as evident from the tone of the leadership,” Solomon explained.
In recent months, iVoteIsrael helped US citizens in Israel register to vote and request ballots. The organization held voter assistance evenings, providing write-in ballots and answering questions on how to legally cast them.