Massachusetts seeks ideas to avoid conflict between 2018 primary and Yom Kippur


(JTA) — Massachusetts’ secretary of state is wrestling with when to schedule the state’s primary so it doesn’t conflict with Yom Kippur.

The primary is usually held seven weeks before the general election. That means the primary ahead of the November 2018 general election would fall on September 18, when Yom Kippur starts on at sundown. Ordinarily the primary would be moved up one week, in 2018 to September 11, but it would then fall on Rosh Hashanah.

According to Massachusetts state law, a primary must be move when it conflicts with a religious holiday, according to the Associated Press.

Secretary of State William Galvin has reached out to the public, including voters and candidates, for advice on how to handle the 2018 primary in light of the restrictions of the Jewish holidays. The day before Yom Kippur is not a holy day, but observant Jews often begin their preparations then and the polls would remain open after the onset of the 25-hour holiday at sundown.

Galvin will hold a public meeting in Boston on January 2, 2018 on the issue, and also is accepting comments in writing, according to the AP.

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