Pre-polling locations to open next month as federal election looms

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By Christopher Talbot

Melbourne Ports’ federal Labor MP Michael Danby has secured extra voting days for the electorate, making it possible for Jewish residents to vote ahead of the Federal Election.

With the September 14 election falling on Jewish holiday Yom Kippur, many Jewish residents would be unable to vote come Election Day.

MP Danby announced the new pre-polling options, saying it was crucial for Jewish voters to have plenty of opportunity to cast their vote.

“I’m committed to making sure that every Melbourne Ports resident, regardless of their religion, is able to exercise their democratic right and vote at the federal election.

“I’ve been working over several months with the Australian Electoral Commission to secure these extra polling places,” Danby said.

Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year for Jewish people, with most spending the day in synagogue services.

Rabbi Yaakov Glasman, Chief Rabbi of St Kilda Hebrew Congregation praised the extra voting days.

“As a democracy that values both freedom of religion and the fundamental voting rights of its people, extra voting days are most welcome and in fact illustrate democracy at its best,” Rabbi Glasman said.

Jewish residents make up the third largest religious group in the area with ABS data revealing that 12.7 percent of residents are Jewish, compared to 1.1 percent for greater Melbourne.

The Labor party has held the Division of Melbourne Ports since 1906, with MP Danby at the helm since 1998.

The electorate includes the suburbs of Port Melbourne, Albert Park, Elwood, St Kilda and Caulfield.

There will be three pre-polling locations available to residents in Melbourne Ports.

One will be at the Caulfield Early Voting Centre, in the Presbyterian church hall at the corner of Neerim and Bambra roads, Caulfield. It will be open August 27 to September 13.

Another will be at the Caulfield Pavilion, Caulfield Park, on Sunday, September 8.

St Kilda residents will find their closest location at the Betty Day Centre, Argyle St, East St Kilda. It will be open August 27 to September 13. For opening hours visit the Australian Electoral Commission website: www.aec.gov.au

 

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