Surprising turnout for Israeli elections

The J-Post is reporting that there may be as much as 3% higher turnout at the polls as Israel votes for a new Knesset.The Kadima party and Likud are neck and neck while several of the pivotal smaller parties are worried that the higher turnout will reduce their representation in the Knesset thus weakening their bargaining position when it comes time for either Likud's Netanyahu or Kadima's Livni to form a government. As of 6:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, some 50.3 percent of the 5.2 million people eligible to vote had cast their ballots at the 9,263 polling stations available nationwide, the Central Elections Committee (CEC) said. The turnout was 3% higher than the figure registered at the same stage of the 2006 general election, but 2% lower than the previous elections in 2003. Throughout the day, the CEC warned that no exit polls were to be published until the last polling stations close at 10 p.m. Political leaders cast their ballots on Tuesday morning and called upon those ...(Read Full Post)