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Adopt Tentative Registration Day Changes to Enable Jews of Maryland to Vote in Fall

Changes which will be suggested in the dates for registration when the General Assembly convenes in special session July 29 were tentatively decided today at a meeting in Governor Ritchie’s office.

Under present plans, amendment of the law to make Tuesday and Wednesday, September 16 and 17, Thursday, October 9 and Thursday, October 16, the legal dates for the coming registration in order to avoid Jewish religious holidays, will be recommended.

The meeting was attended by the Governor, the city State Senators and members of the Board of Supervisors of Elections.

The dates set by law for registration this year are September 23 and 24 and October 7 and 8. The former conflict with Rosh Hashonah and the latter with Succoth, on which days Jews would be barred from entering their names on the books or permitting their homes to be used as places of registration. About 400 election officials also would be barred from participating.

The Governor’s action in calling a special session of the Legislature is favorably commented upon in editorials in Baltimore newspapers. The “Morning Sun” said:

“Governor Ritchie’s statement of reasons for calling an extra session of the Legislature seems convincing. If thousands of Jews, notably the orthodox, would be deprived of the opportunity to register because the prescribed registration days in the city fall on their New Year and their Feast of Tabernacles, fairness dictates that some remedy be found. There must be a decent regard for the convenience and the convictions of large bodies of citizens.”

The “Baltimore Post” stated:

“It is not likely that anyone can find valid fault with Governor Ritchie’s decision to call a special session of the Legislature to readjust the registration dates. Failure to do so would mean that some 20,000 citizens would have to choose between giving up their votes or violating their religious precepts. It is a choice they should not be asked to make.

“It is unfortunate that the state should be put to an expense of over $8,000 to accomplish the purpose of the session, but the coincidence, or rather the quadrincidence, of four registration days with four Jewish holidays could hardly have been foreseen.”

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