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Absentee Voting on Religious Holidays Permitted in California

August 2, 1955
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Governor Goodwin Knight has signed into law an amendment to the California Election Code providing for absentee voting for those who cannot go to the polls on election day when it falls on a religious holiday.

The bill was introduced into the California Legislature by Assemblyman Jesse Unruh of Los Angeles. It brings to fruition a plan proposed by the Pacific Southwest Regional Office of the Anti-Defamation League of Bnai B’rith to prevent disenfranchisement of Jews during years when election day may coincide with one of the Jewish High Holidays. The new law will go into effect on September 7 this year.

Prior to the enactment of the amendment to the Election Code, only persons absent from their election precinct and those unable to go to the polls because of illness could vote by absentee ballot. Thus those prevented from voting because of religious restrictions on election day lost their vote.

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