Municipal Vote Higher Than Last Time

YERUSHALAYIM -
Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Shalom Cohen casts his ballot in the municipal elections, Tuesday. (Aharon Krohn/Flash90)

With less than two hours left to vote, Israelis have already cast more votes than in any previous municipal election—over 3,170,000, or 48 percent of the total eligible, 16 percent more than in 2013.

For the most part, voting took place without incident, though there were isolated claims of fraud, cyberattacks and other irregularities as well as physical altercations and arrests in a few places.

As of 8 p.m., 170,000 people, or 27 percent, had voted in Yerushalayim; in Tel Aviv 165,000 or 37 percent; in Haifa 104,00, 41 percent.

In a noted gaffe, Israel’s top law enforcement officer, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, broke the election laws when she posted to social media a video of herself casting a vote inside a polling station in Tel Aviv, and urging support for her Jewish Home party.

Shaked admitted the mistake, and subsequently had the video taken down.

“As soon as it was apparent that it was illegal, the minister removed the video from social media and has apologized for the error,” a statement from her office said.

Opposition MK Mickey Rosenthal filed a complaint with the attorney general against Shaked over the video.