Will The Voters Step Up?

112213_mishmash_israelAre the voters in Israel mimicking American voters in their lack of participation in local elections?

This year, only 32 percent of eligible voters turned out for the mayoral elections in Jerusalem; only 22 percent turned out in Tel Aviv. Despite these low numbers, the mayors of Israel’s three largest cities — Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa — were re-elected for five more years.

Based on the numbers, it appears that voter turnout was highest in hareidi-religious cities. In fact, in Jerusalem, voter turnout in the hareidi-religious community was around 70 percent.

Meanwhile, among the few towns with new leadership at the helm is Baltimore’s sister city, Ashkelon. Itamar Shimoni won the election on the first round, defeating incumbent Benny Vaknin, who has served as Ashkelon’s mayor for four terms. What changes, if any, will occur in this port city are yet to be determined.

To connect with and learn about Baltimore’s sister city, visit baltimoreashkelon.org.

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