IEC extends voting hours to accommodate Jewish people

The menorah, a Jewish symbol. Picture: Stock image.

The menorah, a Jewish symbol. Picture: Stock image.

The May 8 elections fall on a Saturday, which is the Jewish Sabbath.

The Independent Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) says it has agreed to extend voting hours at four missions abroad for South African voters to accommodate observation of Sabbath.

Voters abroad will cast their votes on April 27.

”The decision to extend voting hours at these missions followed a request from the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) to accommodate Jewish voters who will be celebrating the Sabbath on 26 – 27 April,” the IEC said in a statement.

“The SAJBD recommended the four missions for extended voting hours based on estimations of the missions most likely to be frequented by Jewish voters.”

The foreign missions set to extend voting hours to 23H30 at night are London in the UK, Tel Aviv in Israel, Los Angeles, and New York, USA.

Sabbath is a day of religious observance and abstinence from work practised by Christians and Jews.

South Africa’s general elections for voters within its borders will take place on May 8.

With the holy month of Ramadan set to start on May 8, the commission said it has asked Muslim voters to apply for special votes at voting stations for 6 and 7 May should they choose to.

Applications for special votes close Thursday, 18 April at midnight.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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