DETROIT (Aug. 29)
Michigan’s Secretary of State James Hare today issued a statement expressing official “regret” for fixing this year’s election date “on a day that coincides with Rosh Hashanah.” He announced officially that persons who wish to observe the Jewish New Year may apply for the right to vote by absentee ballot instead.
In his statement, Mr. Hare declared: “Unfortunately, when the September 12 date was set for the election, the religious significance of this date this year was overlooked by the Legislature.” He added that the September 12 election date was fixed without taking into account that the Jewish holidays do not fall each year on the same dates of the common calendar. “In any case, the right to an absent-voter ballot on religious grounds is a basic one, and all who plan to observe Rosh Hashanah may apply for their ballot now,” he stressed.
The Detroit Jewish News publishes in its issue of this week the text of the official application for Absent Voter’s Ballots in order to enable local Jews to clip the text and file it with the City Clerk. Applications may be submitted until three days before the elections. The application makes its clear that the applicant’s request for an Absent Voter’s ballot is due to the fact that he “cannot attend the polls because of the tenets of my religion.”