Israeli population analysis reveals higher voter turnout than initial reports

Click photo to download. Caption: Josef Tal's granddaughter helps him vote in Israel. Credit: Etan J. Tal. ( Voter turnout in the recent Israeli elections was initially reported at 68 percent, but that figure is actually 73 percent based on a deeper analysis of the country’s population, the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) think tank said Jan. 28.

While the official Israeli voter turnout figures said that 3,834,136 out of 5,656,705 eligible voters casted ballots, Yehuda Ben Meir noted in a journal article for INSS that the voter registry of Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics includes 400,000-500,000 who live abroad, meaning they could not vote on Jan. 22. 

Therefore, with those voters subtracted from the registry, turnout among individuals who were physically able to vote in the 2013 Israeli election was 73 percent, according to INSS, which is affiliated with Tel Aviv University and headed by former Israeli military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin.

Furthermore, when Israeli Arab voters (who had a 56-percent turnout) are removed from the equation, the turnout among Israeli Jews was 75 percent, the think tank said.

“This fact refutes the assumption that a large portion of the Israeli public is alienated and apathetic,” Ben Meir wrote. “Although some commentators labeled this election the most boring election in many years, nearly three of every four Israelis came to exercise their right to vote. This is a tribute to Israeli citizens and Israeli democracy.”

Posted on January 28, 2013 .