Just the Facts: The haredi vote

There is a widespread perception that voter turnout rates in haredi population centers are particularly high. It turns out, however, that they are apparently not as high as one might think. The following is a analysis of voting behavior from the 2013 Jerusalem municipal elections of neighborhoods made up of 65% or more haredi residents of voting age.
In 2013, of the 124,131 people in Jerusalem haredi neighborhoods who are eligible to vote, only 77,311 (62%) people actually did go out to vote. In contrast, the voting participation in non-haredi neighborhoods reached 50%. The percentage of people in haredi neighborhoods who voted, then, is only 12 percentage points higher than residents in non-haredi neighborhoods.
From an analysis of the findings, large differences were found in voting rates among the different haredi neighborhoods. Not surprisingly, the more ultra-Orthodox the community, the more the residents followed their rabbi’s instructions and went to the polls to vote. For example, in Ramat Shlomo, voter turnout reached 82%, with one section of the neighborhood registering 86% voter turnout. Ramat Shlomo is considered an extremely haredi neighborhood, and is sometimes even referred to as the Bnei Brak of Jerusalem. And indeed, data show that 96% of Ramat Shlomo residents voted for haredi parties in municipal elections. Other neighborhoods registered the following voter turnout rates: Givat Shaul 71%; Har Nof 70%; Romema 69%; and Bayit Vegan 67%.
Voter participation among the general haredi population is highly influenced by neighborhoods with a high percentage of “Old Yishuv” haredi residents, who are openly anti-Zionistic. The latter communities, which make up nearly 20% of the haredi population, choose not to participate in national elections. In these neighborhoods, such as Mea She’arim and Batei Ungarin, voter participation reached only 18%. In the neighborhood next to Mea She’arim north of Shabbat Square, voter turnout was 27%, in Old Beit Yisrael 34%, and in New Beit Yisrael voter turnout reached 40%. In Geula, voter turnout ranged from 45% to 47% and in Shikun Chabad it reached 51%. Clearly, the farther away a neighborhood is from Mea She’arim, the higher the voter turnout rate, since there are fewer anti-Zionist residents.
In conclusion, among haredi communities that participate in national elections, voting rates range from 62% to 86%. However, in neighborhoods with a high percentage of anti-Zionist residents, voter turnout is quite low.
Translated by Hannah Hochner.