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Jews in Augusta Will Be Able to Vote in Mayorality Election on Yom Kippur by Absentee Ballot

The State Attorney General has issued a ruling making it possible for Augusta Jews to vote by absentee ballot in the mayoralty election which, under the city charter, must be held on the second Wednesday in October, which this year is Yom Kippur. City officials and leaders of the 1500 member Jewish community became aware of the conflict in dates too late to have the election day changed. Rabbi Maynard Hyman, of Adas Yeshurun, when he discovered the conflict, sent a letter to Mayor Lewis Newman, asking for a change in the voting date which can be changed only by the state’s General Assembly.

When it became evident time was lacking for such a change, requests were made to allow Jewish voters to use absentee ballots but state election officials indicated doubt this could be done since such ballots normally can be used only by voters who will be out of their precincts between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on election day. Newman then asked the Attorney General for some action and the ruling permitting the use of absentee ballots was issued.

Newman said that, to prevent such conflicts in the future, “we are requesting” from the State Assembly, when it meets in January, “a two-week period in which the city council can check that the dates do not conflict.” Hyman said he was satisfied with the solution and that there was “no question that it was a complete oversight.”

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