Village near Israel’s airport decides its election with a coin toss
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Up in the air

Village near Israel’s airport decides its election with a coin toss

After soldiers’ votes were counted, Tzafria residents had a problem: both factions had garnered the same 197 votes

Coin toss decided village's local election results (Video screen capture)
Coin toss decided village's local election results (Video screen capture)

One small central Israeli village picked the tie-breaking fifth seat on its five-seat municipal council with a coin toss after two competing local factions came in dead even on election day.

Tzafria, a hamlet of some 1,000 residents that borders on Ben Gurion International Airport, saw a neck-and-neck race between two political factions, Tzafria Shelanu (“Our Tzafria”) and Tzafria Lekulam (“Tzafria for All”).

Tuesday’s vote ended with a slim three-vote advantage for Tzafria Shelanu, so everyone had to wait until the soldiers’ ballots could be counted.

The votes came in, granting TS a two-vote advantage. But Tzafria Lekulam appealed for a recount, during which two soldiers’ ballots were disqualified.

The final results were in on Thursday morning: both factions had 197 votes. When the two parties refused a compromise rotation agreement, the local elections commission told the parties to settle the election with a coin toss.

So they did, using a 5-shekel coin. Tzafria Shelanu took the side with the etched image of a column capital, Tzafria Lekulam took the side marked with “5.”

Tzafria Shelanu won the coin toss, and will now enjoy a 3-2 majority on the Tzafria village council for the next five years.

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