On Sat., Feb. 20, when the Nevada State Democratic Party holds its caucus and primary, observant Jews and others such as Seventh-Day Adventists who observe the Sabbath on Saturday, won’t be able to participate because of their religious beliefs. The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of American, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, urges the Nevada State Democratic Party to change its caucus plans to accommodate those who observe the Sabbath.
Under Jewish law, Jews are prohibited from driving, working and other activities from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.
Other states that hold primaries on Saturdays avoid this exclusion by giving voters the option of casting absentee ballots. Nevada does not offer this alternative, instead requiring all voters who aren’t members of the military to participate in person.
Nathan Diament, Executive Director of OU Advocacy, the nonpartisan public policy arm of the Orthodox Union, issued the following statement:
“We ask the Nevada State Democratic Party to change its policy and ensure that all Nevadans, can participate in the important presidential caucus. We must protect religious freedom.”