New York state legislators seek change in school election date

Jeff Bessen for Long Island Herald

Originally published in Long Island Herald

The Jewish holiday of Shavout, which celebrates when the Jews were given the Torah on Mount Sinai, begins on Sunday, May and ends Tuesday, May 18 next year. That Tuesday is also the scheduled day of statewide school district budget votes and elections.

Three state legislators, State Sen. Todd Kaminsky, a Democrat who represents the Five Towns; and Assemblywomen Judy Griffin (D-Rockville Centre) and Melissa Miller (R-Atlantic Beach), sent a letter to the Boards of Education and superintendents of the Hewlett-Woodmere, Lawrence and West Hempstead school districts, districts with substantial Jewish populations, asking the officials to change the date to May 11 to accommodate the Jewish voters in their districts and ensure that all voters have equal access to the polls. 

Lawrence Board of Education President Murray Forman noted that as with many decision during the coronavirus pandemic changing the date of a statewide election is up to the governor. “Hopefully given the composition of the district an accommodation can be made,” said Forman, adding that decisions such as this one need to be made several months in advance.