Poll: 39% of Israelis don’t believe election results will be accurate

Survey also finds only 37% of respondents optimistic about future of democracy in Jewish state

Michael Horovitz is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel

Central Election Committee workers count the remaining election ballots at the Knesset in Jerusalem, March 25, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Central Election Committee workers count the remaining election ballots at the Knesset in Jerusalem, March 25, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A poll published this week found a large share of Israelis do not have faith that upcoming election results will be accurate.

The monthly Israeli Voice Index by the Israel Democracy Institute found that 39% of Israelis — the second highest rate ever counted by the study — believe the published election results will not properly reflect the public’s vote.

When broken down according to ethnicity, the study found that 36% of Jewish Israelis do not trust election results, while a majority of 51.5% of Arab Israelis do not believe the votes will be tallied accurately.

The highest rate of distrust, 44%, was recorded in August 2019, a month before the second round of a series of elections held.

In March 2021, shortly before the last round of elections, 28% of Israelis lacked faith in the election results.

Israelis head to the polls on November 1.

It is the fifth election since 2019 — the result of several deadlocked results that failed to produce a government, as well as two shortlived governing coalitions.

Last week, President Isaac Herzog penned a letter to party leaders, urging them to reign in incitement, and to ensure their supporters have confidence in the election results, “whatever they may be.”

A view of the main building of the Knesset in Jerusalem, December 26, 2018. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Herzog’s call appeared to be a plea to avoid a repetition of the situation in the US, where former US president Donald Trump’s baseless refusal to accept the results of the election has continued to undermine the American political system.

The IDI study also found a minority of 37% of Israelis are optimistic about the future of democracy.

Among Jewish Israelis, 38% have a positive outlook on democracy, but the number drops to 30% among Arab Israelis.

Additionally, the survey asked respondents if they thought security officials’ support for the recent maritime border deal with Lebanon was influenced by political considerations, finding mixed responses.

“Half the sample believe that this support was indeed also influenced by political considerations; one-third, that the agency heads’ decision was entirely professional; and 17% said that they don’t know,” the report said, adding that the rate of those who thought political considerations influenced security officials was higher among Jewish Israelis.

Citing the urgent need to sign the deal and constraints on the Lebanese side, the outgoing government approved the deal, but did not bring it to the Knesset for a vote.

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