Israelis go to the polls to elect new national government

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israelis went to the polls Tuesday to vote for the 20th Knesset.

As of 10 a.m., voter turnout was projected to be 13.7 percent — the highest at that hour since 1999, when the Labor Party unseated a Netanyahu-led government. Historically, high turnout has been good news for the left.

As of 11:30 a.m. it was reported that Arab voter turnout was at 10 percent, as opposed to 3 percent in 2013.

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Israelis in hospitals and in prisons also can go to polls set up in their institutions.

In 2013, total voter turnout was 67.7 percent.

The polls opened at 7 a.m. for the 5,881,696 Israelis who are eligible to vote at the more than 10,000 polling locations across the country, including in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.

There are 25 candidate slates running in the election, including six lists which are made up of parties running together on combined lists.

The cost to run the election, according to Haaretz, citing Central Elections Committee figures, is $59.7 million.

The polls will close Tuesday night at 10 p.m. Final results based on a count of 90 percent of the votes will be released on Wednesday morning, and a 99 percent count will be issued on Thursday,  Final results are delivered to President Reuven Rivlin on March 25,