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General Elections in Italy Set for Shevuoth; Jews in Predicament

Scheduling of the Italian general elections for May 25 and 26 has presented the Jewish community with an important problem because these days coincide with Shevuoth when Jews are forbidden to work or write and therefore cannot mark their ballots.

Since Italian law classifies voting as a duty as well as a right, the Rabbinical Council and the Union of Italian Jewish Communities is searching for a method whereby Jews may vote without violating religious requirements. Suggestions, thus far, include: a request for postponement of the final election day until a few hours after sundown, or permitting a Jewish voter to have a non-Jew with him to mark the ballot as instructed. The latter device is normally used to allow sick and disabled citizens to vote.