NEW YORK (Aug. 21)
New York City voters will have two additional days to register for the forthcoming elections in order to accommodate observant Jews who cannot register on the dates fixed by the State Legislature because of religious holidays and the Sabbath which coincide with these dates.
This was announced here yesterday by Mayor Robert F. Wagner, who reaffirmed his intention of providing additional registration time after Governor Nelson a. Rockefeller turned down the Mayor’s request to call a special session of the Legislature to change the registration dates.
The dates set by the Legislature were the evenings of October 12 and 13, which coincide with Shmini Atzeret and Simhat Torah, Friday evening, October 14 and all day Saturday, October 15. The Mayor had sought the change in dates by the State Legislature, which would have avoided the $400,000 cost of the two additional days. The City Board of Elections has the authority to increase the number of local registration days, but any added days must precede the last day fixed by the Legislature.
Referring to the additional cost for renting registration rooms and paying election inspectors, Mayor Wagner said it was “worth it to give the people the opportunity to register.” He said the additional dates probably would be October 10 and 11, but that this was not certain.
Governor Rockefeller’s decision to reject the request for the special session of the Legislature was contained in a telegram to the Mayor which declared that “any sudden and belated shifting of these long-established dates would serve only to create confusion in the minds of the public and a possible consequent failure of some citizens to qualify to vote.”