Galicia Voting Eligibility #galicia

Suzan Wynne <srwynne@...>

Israel Pickholtz asked about voting eligibility and why someone might
not have voted in a place where they lived. I can not answer this
question for the period of 1934 when Galicia had reverted to Polish rule
but perhaps the whole issue of voting was a carryover >from the Austrian

Residence under the Austrian government for Jews was a complex matter
that was related to their membership in the local Kehilla. One could
not just decide to live somewhere and automatically switch their
official residence to the town where they were living. To the contrary,
they had to retain their official residence in the town where the family
was registered with the Kehilla. In order to make an official change,
one had to make an application. Applications were approved on the basis
of various demonstrations that the applicant was in good standing, such
as demonstrating that they had married under civil law, had a certain
level of income, etc.

The Kehilla was not always thrilled with approvals that reduced their
rolls since tax money flowed >from those who were registered. A person
wishing to transfer their official residence represented a loss of tax

I have always assumed that this whole system died when Galicia came
under Polish rule and the Kehilla system was dismantled in the Interwar
years but perhaps there was something in the way the legal system was
organized that perpetuated this old system of official residence.

By the way, the Bnei Yissachar was my uncle....the brother of my
ancestor Chaim Leib Langsam. I still have some copies of a book that I
and some cousins compiled some years ago outlining what we knew about
the Langsam-Spira family. Anyone who is interested can contact me
privately at <srwynne@...> . It is outdated and contains errors but
it has helped to enlarge our collective knowledge about the family as it
has helped people make essential connections over the years.

Suzan Wynne
Kensington, MD

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