As the final 220,000 votes from Tuesday's election were tallied on Thursday, Habayit Hayehudi ended up with 12 Knesset seats — after initial results placed the party at 11 seats — at the expense of the Arab Democratic Party, which will have four Knesset members instead of five.
The 220,000 so-called "double-envelope" votes are those cast by soldiers, Foreign Ministry and other government employees abroad, Jewish Agency representatives, hospitalized citizens, prisoners and handicapped Israelis living in institutions. These ballots are sealed inside two envelopes and counted separately from the votes cast by most of the citizenry at ballot boxes around the country. The reason for the double envelope is that these individuals are registered to vote in two places and the second envelope is a measure to prevent a double vote by a single individual.
When these final votes were counted Thursday by the Central Elections Committee, and once all the surplus votes (ballots that don't amount to a full Knesset seat, which can be transferred to another party) were allocated according to prior agreements between the parties, Shuli Mualem, number 12 on Habayit Hayehudi's list, found herself a Knesset member, while veteran MK Talab El-Sana was out in the cold for the first time since 1992.
Among the double-envelope voters, the majority of whom were soldiers, Likud-Beytenu got the largest number of votes (52,526), followed by Yesh Atid (over 35,000), Habayit Hayehudi (over 32,000), Labor (about 22,000) and Shas (over 15,000).
Surprisingly, the Green Leaf Party, whose central issue is legalizing marijuana, and which failed to pass the minimum threshold required to obtain a Knesset seat, received over 8,500 votes from double-envelope voters. Whether this surge of pro-cannabis sentiment came from soldiers, diplomats, prisoners, hospital patients, or all of the above, is anybody's guess.
To sum up this election, the final figure for voter turnout was 67.79 percent. This is the highest in the last ten years. The total number of citizens who voted was 3,834,360. The number of disqualified votes was 40,915.
The minimum threshold for gaining a Knesset seat was 75,864 votes. About 270,000 votes were cast for the 20 parties that did not pass this threshold and the voters who cast them remain unrepresented.
Seven parties benefited from surplus agreements made prior to elections and received an extra seat as a result. These parties were Likud, Yesh Atid, Habayit Hayehudi, Labor, Meretz, United Torah Judaism and Hadash.