Calif. skeds primary on Jewish holiday

Aug. 18, 2005 at 9:53 PM
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SACRAMENTO, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- California Jewish groups are upset by the timing of an election to replace Chris Cox, who left Congress to head the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced this week the election will be held Dec. 6 with a primary on Oct. 4. The October date is also the first day of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year and one of the holiest days in the Jewish calendar.

Harvey Englander, campaign chairman for Marilyn Brewer, a Republican candidate for Cox's seat, told the Los Angeles Times scheduling an election on Rosh Hashanah is the equivalent of scheduling one on Christmas.

"It's somewhat amazing to me that the governor's office wouldn't have taken this into account," he said. "It's true people can vote by absentee ballot, and a lot will, but some won't, and this is just inappropriate."

State officials say their options were limited by laws on the timing of primaries and special elections, and by avoiding the Thanksgiving season for the general election.

Oct. 4 is also the first day of Ramadan, the month-long Muslim holiday.

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