The local authority elections: Second round

Campaign in Haifa. Wikipedia, Hanay

This coming Sunday, March 10th, will mark the second round of elections for local authorities, in which residents of 35 municipalities throughout the country (14% of all municipalities in Israel) will go to the ballots to vote. Tensions are rising between the 70 candidates, all of whom are participating in this round due to not receiving 40% of the votes in the first round.

In Beit Shemesh, the competition is close between the current mayor, Aliza Bloch, and the ultra-orthodox representative Shmuel Greenberg.
In Haifa, Einat Kalish Rotem will be removed from her position as mayor, having received only 4% of the votes in the first round, leaving Yona Yahav (former mayor) and David Etzioni to compete for the position.
In Ariel, Yair Shetabon is competing for the coveted position, against none other than Oren Hazan, former member of the Knesset.
Among the other cities expecting an exciting second round: Pardes Hana-Karkur, Beit Jann, Binyamina, Rehovot, Nes-Ziona, and more.

The second round will not be a day off work like the first round, and the Ballots will be open for nine hours only – from 1:00 PM to 10:00 PM (ending even earlier in special polling stations). In this round as well, the voices of the soldiers, in the bases, in the war, and wherever they are, will be counted and will have influence as double envelopes.

The voting rate in the first round was 53.8% after counting the double envelopes. This is a lower voter turnout than the previous elections for local authorities in 2018 (59.5%), but higher than the 3 rounds of elections that preceded it. The most significant voting rates came mainly from Arab and Haredi authorities.
This turnout actually came as a surprise and was higher than the anticipated low voting rate since the media, along with the heart of the people, is focused on the war.

It is interesting to see how up to six months ago, the main discourse, and even the only one, was about democracy and its presence in the country. In the shadow of the Israel-Hamas war, the perspective has completely changed in a very noticeable way, and democracy is taken for granted, marginal.
Indeed, it is clear as day that our lives, our unity, and our country are much more important than a competition between a couple of people for a relatively small role, but it is important to remember the values ​​and principles that are founded behind this competition. The values ​​of democracy, freedom of expression, and the individual’s ability to choose and influence – these are the values ​​that are at the foundation of the State of Israel, the people of Israel and the Land of Israel.
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