While candidates and their inner-circle supporters tramped through the streets and worked the phones to get every last voter out to the polls, the large majority of Israelis spent their election day off at the mall, as well as at restaurants and coffee shops, nature reserves, parks, and even beaches, given the relatively warm day.
All the major malls in Israel reported a significant rise in the number of vehicles. As of 8:00 p.m. Wednesday night, for example, Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Center reported that 62,000 visitors had entered the mall Tuesday, compared to 32,000 that come on an average Tuesday. Many other malls reported an even greater percentage of increase in visitors, as did stores and places of entertainment in the malls, Globes reported.
Many stores held one-day sales in honor of the occasion, and instead of traffic jams on the highways leading to the city centers, which would be the usual situation on a weekday, the traffic jams were in the industrial zones and around the parking lots in shopping areas.
Tuesday’s municipal election was an official day off in the economy, meaning that many workers got a paid day off – a rare occasion when the stores were open, and the large majority of workers were not at their jobs.