As Israel votes for the second time in five months, early figures show small bump in turnout

Turnout for the Israeli elections was the highest in decades, election officials said, dispelling fears of voter apathy for the rare rerun poll.

Israelis were voting for the second time in five months after an earlier April election failed to produce a coalition. Political figures across the board have tried to counter expected voter apathy by urging citizens to cast their ballots.

As of noon, voter turnout was 26.8 percent, two percentage points higher than at the same hour in the April 9 race, Central Elections Committee director Orly Adas said.

At 10 a.m., Adas said 15% had voted, up from 12.9% in April. That figure was the highest by that time of day since 1984, when it reached 15.6%. Final turnout in the April election was 68.5%.

Most polls opened at 7 a.m. for some 6.3 million eligible voters, and will remain open until 10 p.m. when exit poll results are announced.

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