Voters Jerusalem elections 2013 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Municipal election day should be made a day off from work, in light of this
week’s low turnout rates, MK Shimon Ohayon posited on Thursday, submitting a
bill to that effect.
Only 51 percent of eligible Israelis voted in
Tuesday’s municipal elections, with even lower numbers in big cities like Tel
Aviv (31.3%) and Jerusalem (36%).
Ohayon (Yisrael Beytenu) wrote in the
bill’s explanatory portion that voter participation numbers have decreased over
the decades, calling it a “worrying trend that apparently indicates
“The bill will help residents who are interested in voting but
don’t have time because of work,” Ohayon explained. “ It will also allow parents
to spend the day with children who don’t have school, because their school
buildings are used as polling places.”
On Tuesday, Interior Minister
Gideon Sa’ar, whose ministry is responsible for the municipal elections, made a
MK Meir Sheetrit (Hatnua), a former interior
minister, took the idea one step further and said in a speech to the Knesset on
Tuesday that not only should municipal election day be a day off, but anyone who
doesn’t vote should have to pay a fine.