As of 1 p.m. 17.7% of voters cast ballots in local elections, compared to 24% in 2018

Sam Sokol is the Times of Israel's political correspondent. He was previously a reporter for the Jerusalem Post, Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Haaretz. He is the author of "Putin’s Hybrid War and the Jews"

As of 1 p.m., 17.7 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots in Israel’s municipal elections, according to data from the Interior Ministry.

This year’s voter turnout, which totals some 1,256,916 votes cast, continues to lag behind the last local elections in 2018, when 24% voted by that time. Data is not immediately available on earlier elections (2018 saw higher turnout than any vote since 1989, but was also the first time since 1989 that election day was declared a sabbatical).

Some 19.2% have voted in Ashdod, 18% in Bnei Brak, 16.3% in Tel Aviv and 12% in Jerusalem. The city with the highest turnout so far is Kiryat Ono with 55.2% of eligible ballots cast.

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