Politics FB

Israel Votes 2019 (Again): The Lack of Liveblog

Hey, all. Some people in the PT suggested I make this a separate thread.

As you probably know, tonight is election night in Israel. However, unlike the previous election in April, I will not be doing a liveblog or live video. This is because we cannot possibly know who “won” by the end of the night. Unlike in the US, UK, or Canada, Israel does not have local constituencies that we can tick off one at a time until it becomes clear which parties will win overall. In Israel, the number of seats allocated to each party is directly tied to the popular vote; we won’t know the outcome until every vote is counted, and that will take two to three days.

But there are a couple of things you should know. First, below is a video I made about the parties running:

Second, one of the big unknowns in this election is turnout.

Picture this: each of the nine major Israeli parties is guaranteed to get 6% of the vote. That adds up to 54%– the other 46% of the electorate are undecided, and even after choosing to vote for a party strategically, they will be uncertain about their choice and may not vote after all.

Because of this, low turnout tends to disadvantage the largest parties (in this case, Likud and Blue & White) because they naturally have the softest support. Because there has never been a second election in one year, conventional wisdom has assumed that turnout will be historically low. However, this is also something the parties say in order to scare their voters into showing up at the polls, so there’s no telling what turnout will actually be.

Finally– election fraud has never been more rampant. Ballot tampering, counterfeit ballots that will be mistaken for real ones and disqualified by authorities, right-wing activists bringing cameras into majority-Arab precincts. At the time or writing, Blue & White claims it is under a massive cyberattack from outside the country. And campaigns have already turned violent: two days ago, a brawl broke out in Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda marketplace when Likud ultras started beating up volunteers for the Democratic Union– even Security Minister Gilad Erdan joined in! Today he said the attack was justified because DU leader Stav Shaffir used violent language when she said “let’s whip Bibi,” which happened today, after the attack.

So here we are. I will pop in occasionally to make updates, but don’t expect me to be on call 24/7. I’ve learned to take it easy and not expect too much information tonight. Be civil.