Reader BUZZ: October 2015

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Here’s “What Bugs Me”:

When I vote in Alexandria, Virginia, and Federal elections at my precinct, I am required

to enter a house of worship, Agudas Achim.  Unless I vote absentee by claiming a

“Religious obligation or conflict,” and state, “I do not choose to enter a house of

worship in order to cast my vote.”

Our precinct voting location should be returned to the Charles Barrett Elementary

School/Recreation Center, a public facility located within the precinct, and where

Parkfairfax residents previously voted.  Our voting location and precinct were changed

to Agudas Achim in the 1980’s when our Recreation Center was renovated.

The First Amendment of our Bill of Rights begins, very clearly, “Congress shall

make no law respecting an establishment of religion…”

Some may argue it doesn’t matter so long as there are no religious symbols

displayed where votes are cast?  But at Agudas Achim, numerous religious symbols

and artifacts are displayed along the way to the voting room.  And, out of respect

to the Synagogue, poll workers are asked not to bring any meat products with them –

no MacMuffins or pepperoni pizzas here!

I respect, support and defend my fellow Americans’ right to worship as they please,

but the Alexandria Elections Administrator has a constitutional responsibility to resolve

this civil vs. religious conflict by reestablishing the Charles Barrett Precinct.

Maria T. Wildes

Parkfairfax

 

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