A dog stands on a table as its owner casts her ballot at a polling station in Tel Aviv March 17, 2015. Millions of Israelis voted on Tuesday in a tightly fought election, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu facing an uphill battle to defeat a strong campaign by the centre-left opposition to deny .
(photo credit: NIR ELIAS / REUTERS)
When the elections for the Knesset take place on April 9, 2019, there will be 6,339,279 Israelis eligible to vote, according to data released by the Knesset Research and Information Center on Sunday.
The voters – all Israeli citizens aged 18 and up – will be able to exercise their right at 10,720 locations in Israel, 3,949 of which will be handicap-accessible. Another 96 polling places will be opened in Israeli embassies and consulates around the world, however, Israel only has absentee voting for its official emissaries.
Elections in Israel take place every 3.4 years, on average.
In 2015, 5,881,696, or 72.3% of eligible Israelis voted. The highest voting rate ever was in the first Knesset election, at 86.9%, and the lowest was in 2006, when only 63.5% of eligible Israelis voted.
The town with the highest voting rate in 2015 was Mitzpe Ilan, with 99%, and the city with the lowest voting rate was Eilat, with 49%. About 1% of votes were disqualified, which can happen for a number of reasons, such as putting two parties’ slips into one envelope.
In 2015, one Knesset seat was worth 33,511 votes, nearly 10 times as much as in the elections for the first Knesset, when a seat was worth 3,592. The number this year will depend on how many people vote.
The electoral threshold, meaning the minimum amount of parties need to get into the Knesset, is 3.25% of the vote. In the last election, 189,517 votes went to parties that did not make it into the Knesset.
According to the Knesset Research and Information Center, the threshold in other countries with a proportional electoral system like Israel’s ranges from 0.67% in the Netherlands to 5% in Serbia and Slovakia.
Israel’s electoral threshold was 1% until elections for the 13th Knesset, when it went up to 1.5%. The threshold then rose to 2% before elections to the 16th Knesset. The last election was the first in which the threshold was 3.25%.
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