We've seen stories like this one before:
Related: I, II
A Davidson County voter has sued the local election commission because Nashville's runoff election is scheduled on a Jewish high holy day.I understand that the options for voting early or by absentee ballot exist, but the question really is whether a date like this should be chosen for an election, especially when all indications are that the decision was made with full knowledge that the day is such an important Jewish holiday. We are talking about Rosh Hashana, a holiday that shows up on just about every secular calendar out there. This story shows that at least the candidates in the race are not happy with the decision:
Elinor Gregor's attorney George Barrett said the decision to hold an election on Rosh Hashana deprives Jewish voters.
A runoff election will be held only if no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the votes. The general election for mayor, vice mayor and Metro Council is August 2nd.
The city's legal department recommended the September 13th date based on the city's charter. The election commission voted for it 3-to-2 last month.
The legal opinion said there are options for voting early or by absentee ballot.
Nashville's mayoral candidates made an election promise they're in no position to keep, but their opposition to holding a potential runoff election on a Jewish holy day could put more pressure on Metro to change the date.I am quite sure that I will get comments opining that the early voting is a "reasonable accommodation", and that this is really no big deal. But seriously, we're talking about Rosh Hashana. I do feel that an alternate date could - and should - have been worked out.
The candidates told a gathering at the Gordon Jewish Community Center in West Meade on Thursday night that holding the election on Rosh Hashana is not acceptable, and all vowed that it will be changed.
..Candidate Karl Dean, a former Metro law director, compared it to having an election on Christmas Day.
The candidates met Thursday in a building that may serve as an early voting site for Jewish Nashvillians who can't vote on that election day. All six candidates present said Mayor Bill Purcell's proposed solution, setting up early voting sites in the Jewish community, is unacceptable.
"When the election commission was asked how to deal with the conflict of dates, we gave an opinion that was insensitive to this issue," candidate David Briley said.
Briley, an at-large Metro councilman, said he supports a lawsuit filed by Davidson County resident Elinor J. Gregor against the election commission and its members over the issue.
Related: I, II