A grassroots, Israeli-based voter registration organization maintains that eligible American voters in the Jewish state could significantly impact the results of next Tuesday’s race for the White House.
VotefromIsrael.org, a nonprofit group encouraging American immigrants in Israel to register and vote, succeeded in registering nearly 7,000 eligible U.S. citizens over the past few weeks.
According to informed sources, Americans living in Israel represent the third largest expatriate-voting group after Canada and England – with about 47,000 eligible voters.In an exclusive interview with The Jewish Press, VotefromIsrael.org spokesperson Shimon Greenspan revealed some fascinating information about the overseas immigrant voters:
The Jewish Press: Is this the largest number of eligible American voters ever recorded in Israel?
Greenspan: I believe so, but I don’t have a specific source to back it up. In our own dealings with Americans on the ground, most are registering for the first time abroad because they did not know how – or did not know they could.
Can 47,000 voters really make a difference in certain swing states?
The 2000 presidential election was decided by 537 votes in Florida. Currently, Ohio and Florida – both of which have a large [voter] representation in Israel – feature very tight races and could definitely make a difference. It is also important to note that no president since 1960 has won the election without winning at least two of the three so-called [key] swing states, which this year include Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania.
Considering that there are between 200,000 and 250,000 Americans living in Israel, plus some Israeli-Americans who are of voting age, 47,000 voters appear to be a relatively low number?
There are about 125,000 American citizens in Israel who are probably eligible to vote. For most Americans living in Israel, life is hard enough. Only the most diligent citizens will try to inquire about their democratic rights. VotefromIsrael.org has encountered so many Americans who are thankful for the opportunity to vote because the process can be long, tedious and even expensive. Our efforts have alleviated some of those stresses, and we believe that in the future the numbers of voters in Israel will continue to rise.