Election Date to Avoid Conflict with the Succoth Holiday

The Rabbinical Association of Greater Miami reported today that Gov. Bob Graham of Florida had changed the second primary date of a special election from Oct. 20 to Oct. 22 because the earlier date coincided with Shemini Atzeret (Succoth).

Graham issued an executive order changing the date in response to a telegram from Rabbi Norman Shapiro, the rabbinical association president, and Rabbi Solomon Schiff, executive vice president, which pointed out that the conflict “would disenfranchise a large number of voters precluded from voting due to the religious holiday.” The election is scheduled for both Dade and Broward counties, centers of heavy Jewish settlement.

In his reply, Graham thanked the rabbinical group for informing him of the conflict and also thanked the rabbis for providing him “a more up-to-date calendar” of Jewish holidays to “avoid future conflict.” This was a reference to a 20-year calendar of Jewish holidays assembled by Schiff after he was asked by the Association of Supervisors of Elections to prepare such a listing so that the election dates would not conflict with Jewish holidays.

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