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2016 Resolution: Shabbat and Presidential Primaries / Caucuses
Adopted by direct vote of the RCA membership.
 
 
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Dec 5, 2016 -- Whereas in some states, presidential primaries and caucuses have taken place on a Saturday; and

Whereas Americans who observe the Jewish Sabbath are not permitted by their religious tradition to vote on Saturday until well after sunset; and

Whereas although absentee balloting can in principle accommodate individuals, primary voting and caucusing on Saturday effectively marginalize this religious community as a whole; and

Whereas such Saturday scheduling creates a sense of disenfranchisement from the political process

Therefore, to ensure that Americans who observe the Jewish Sabbath may participate when their political parties select their presidential nominees, the Rabbinical Council of America requests that:

State political parties schedule their primaries and caucuses on a day other than Saturday; or, if this not possible, to ensure that Saturday voting hours end at least three hours after sunset.

Similarly, care should be taken to avoid scheduling conflicts with Festival days on which Jews or other religious minorities cannot vote.

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