Municipal elections to be vacation days in Israel

Interior Committee chairwoman Miri Regev expressed hope that having a day off for municipal elections will increase residents' involvement in local politics.

June 4, 2014 20:38
1 minute read.
Local surfers enjoy the waves in Tel Aviv

Summer beach 370. (photo credit: GPO)

Workers will get the day off after going to the polls for municipal elections, according to a bill authorized this week by the Knesset Interior Committee for its second and third (final) readings.

Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar’s initiative would have municipal election day be a vacation day across the country.

“Having a vacation day could increase voter turnout, which is important for strengthening the legitimacy of elected officials and creating strong coalitions in local authorities,” Sa’ar said on Monday.

The minister said that it will be logistically easier to hold elections in schools when it is a day off.

Interior Committee chairwoman Miri Regev (Likud Beytenu) expressed hope that having a day off for municipal elections will increase residents’ involvement in local politics.

Most of the lawmakers in the committee supported the bill, but MK Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism) pointed out that a day off of work costs the market NIS 1.8 billion and that those who work by the hour will lose money.

In addition, he said, the bill could lead to lower voter rates because people may go on trips on election day.

Maklev suggested that the bill be changed to only half a vacation day, but the other MKs voted against the change.

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