It's Election Day Somewhere 

Time zone solution may solve voting dilemma

Unless the state legislature moves fast enough to change it, Nashville’s mayoral runoff election will be held on Sept. 13, the Jewish High Holiday of Rosh Hashana.
Unless the state legislature moves fast enough to change it, Nashville’s mayoral runoff election will be held on Sept. 13, the Jewish High Holiday of Rosh Hashana.A movement to change the date to Tuesday, Sept. 11, is encountering legal challenges because it violates the specific language of the Metro Charter, which requires the election to be on the second Thursday in September. If that date holds, observant Jews will be disenfranchised, since any work, including voting, is prohibited on the holiday.But an idea making the rounds at the Election Commission office may offer a compromise that would allow the polls to stay open an extraordinarily long time and still not technically violate the charter. “We call it the ‘It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere’ idea, after the Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett song,” says one source.The basic idea is based around a loophole: according to proponents, the Metro Charter doesn’t specify any time zone, meaning that voting can actually take place as long as it is Sept. 13 somewhere in the world. And due to the conventions of international time keeping, that means that most of Wednesday, Sept. 12, Nashville time, would suddenly be legal for polls to be open.“We looked at a time zone converter online,” says the source, “and figured out that when Sept. 13 begins at the International Date Line in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, it’s only about 7 in the morning on Sept. 12 Nashville time. That means we could have the polls open on Sept. 12 and not technically violate the charter—it’s the second Thursday in September somewhere.”“If somebody’s got a better idea, I’d like to hear it,” said an Election Commission member. “I’m about ready to pour me something tall and strong.”

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