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Issue: Early voting in Bronson Our view: It's a good idea

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It's no secret that if you don’t work for Levy County, Levy County schools, the dollar store, the grocery or the seven eateries in Bronson, you may as well leave town to find employment. 

And so the town does with more than 80 percent of the residents hitting the road in a rush-hour exodus to nearby bigger cities. 

That's why it's puzzling that the Bronson Town Council, in a 3-2 vote, decided that no amount of early voting days were worth the effort for the town's upcoming Sept. 10 elections. 

The vote was a 2-2, split with Aaron Edmondson and Beatrice Roberts voting against and Jason Kennedy and Berlon Weeks voting for the idea. The tie was broken with a vote against the idea by Mayor Franklin Schuler. 

Town Clerk Kelli Brettel, who has the authority to call for early voting without the Town Council's approval, chose to leave it up to the Town Council. She mentioned that doing so for two weeks would cost the city about $820.

But cost was never mentioned as a concern of the council.

Edmondson said he didn't like the idea that early voting was being brought up as his seat is up for election. But the same idea was put forth two years ago when Schuler and Weeks were up for election.

Edmondson added that early voting was something he, personally, never did. 

Following Edmondson's logic, the best decision to be made is to limit residents' ability to perhaps vote him out of office? That sounds more like the best decision he could have made for himself.

And early voting's not important because he fails to take advantage of it?

What about the Bronson residents who do vote early in county, state and federal elections? Maybe they would like to do the same in town elections.

They might also disagree with Edmondson's “why are you doing this to me logic,” preferring to see this as an issue of “why are you restricting my opportunity to vote?”

Roberts, whose seat is also up for election this year, said twice that early voting is unnecessary because people can vote absentee.

Schuler, who cast the deciding vote, said he didn't think early voting was worth the effort and that it might only bring in five extra voters.

What about the story of the election won by one vote to illustrate the importance of voting? 

If cost was an issue, Weeks suggested cutting early voting from two weeks to five days thus cutting the cost by two-thirds. It would be less than the amount the city spent on a bench it donated to the post office where Roberts is a postal worker and Edmondson is a postal driver. 

We think early voting is a good idea and it won't cost much. After all, some Bronson residents have died in defense of the right to freely vote. 

We just do not buy the idea that that residents like the idea of rushing from work to stand in line to vote by 7 p.m., then run home to get dinner on the table and the kids ready for school the next day.

Maybe that's why turnout in the city elections is not high.

About the only other thing we can think of to raise a better response from the tired commuting working class is a good mudslinger of a campaign that debates whether this council has residents' best interests at heart.