Throughout history, Jews have unfortunately been denied rights, including the most fundamental — like voting — too often. Now that we have that right, we take it rather seriously. Voting might not be a mitzva, but it’s certainly any good Jew’s obligation in a democratic society. As Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, zt”l, the preeminent posek (legal authority) for American Jewry in the 20th Century put it, voting is an act of hakaras hatov — or gratitude — to this just government, and it is incumbent on every observant Jew to exercise that right.
Currently the Iowa caucuses are scheduled for Saturday, January 23, thus disenfranchising anyone who observes a Saturday Sabbath. Today, a plethora of Jewish organizations, including the Orthodox Union, stand together in asking that those who are Sabbath observant (which includes Jews as well as Seventh Day Adventists) be allowed to vote in Iowa’s 2010 caucuses.
Read the letter — to both the Iowa Democrats and the GOP — in its entirety here.