Under the Elections Act, federal elections take place every four years on the third Monday in October.
On holy days, traditionally observant Jews cannot work, drive, or write – basic activities required of candidates, volunteers, and voters. Elections Canada provides significant alternatives for voters who wish to cast their ballot early, including advance polls and special ballots, ensuring all Jewish voters can participate. However, this requires significant advertising and awareness campaigns – as well as logistical efforts – to engage Jewish voters. Advance voting options can also coincide with Jewish holy days, and observant candidates and volunteers face even greater challenges.
The Government of Canada should eliminate clashes between Jewish High Holy Days and the fixed election date by moving the election date to later in the calendar.