5.8 million Israelis eligible to vote in coming election, central bureau says
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5.8 million Israelis eligible to vote in coming election, central bureau says

Number of voters up by 434,000 since last polling day in 2015; 79% are Jewish and 16% are Arab, with 5% miscellaneous

Illustrative: Arab-Israeli citizens cast their votes at a polling station in Ramla on elections day for the 20th Knesset, March 17, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Illustrative: Arab-Israeli citizens cast their votes at a polling station in Ramla on elections day for the 20th Knesset, March 17, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Some 5.8 million Israelis will be eligible to vote in Knesset elections on April 9, almost half a million more than in the last poll in 2015, according to figures published Monday by the Central Bureau of Statistics.

Next month’s vote will see an increase of about 434,000 eligible voters, or 8.1 percent, over the 5.3 million people eligible in 2015.

Jews make up 79% of voters, 16% are Arabs, and the remaining five percent belong to various other sectors.

The largest group of voters, by age, are those between 40-59 who account for 32% of the total. They are followed by age groups 25-39 (30%), 60 or older (25%), and 18-24 (14%).

The Central Elections Committee listed 6.3 million people eligible to vote, but its numbers appeared to be less up-to-date, as they included citizens who have long lived abroad as well as those who are deceased, but whose status has not yet been updated.

Israel’s total population is 8,972,000, the CBS said in December, of which 74.3% are Jews, 20.9% are Arabs, and 4.8% are of other denominations.

Some of that number are minors while others are residents but not full citizens.

On Sunday, the Central Elections Committee said 43 parties will compete in the Knesset elections and published the layout of each slate’s ballot, including the Hebrew letters allocated to each party. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party will run with the letters forming the word “Machal” and the Labor party will have “Emet,” as they have for decades. Netanyahu’s main rivals, the Blue and White party under Benny Gantz, got the letters “pe” and “he,” previously used by the party No. 2 Yair Lapid’s party Yesh Atid, which merged with Gantz’s Israel Resilience.

Other existing parties will keep their letters from previous elections. Among new parties, Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked’s New Right got the letter “nun,” Orly Levy-Abakasis’s Gesher got “nun” and “resh” (spelling out the word “ner” — or candle), Moshe Feiglin’s Zehut party received the letter “zayin,” and minor candidate Semion Grafman — who had requested letters that spell out the word “fuck” — had his request rejected and will have to do with the letter “nun” in its final form, used at ends of words.

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