Driving a few miles out of the way to get to Delmar is not so much the issue, though folks in far-flung areas of town who must make a 20-minute drive each way might disagree. No, the problem is voter fatigue.
It seems many residents of Bethlehem are being asked to go to the polls every month. We also have news of the recent Bethlehem Central bond vote in this week’s edition, which is going to be followed closely by the May budget vote. Sandwiched in between will be this referendum on the highway superintendent’s job. Along with a primary and the general election, dutiful voters might end up hitting the polls five times this year (assuming the school budget passes on the first go).
There’s a reason November ballots are often padded with extra propositions and referendums – the people are going to be there already. We here at the local newspaper would love nothing more than to see a public referendum every other Tuesday because it would make for lots of fantastic coverage, but as taxpayers and voters we’d rather see the fairest, most cost effective option win out. It would also eliminate a lot of the issues facing this isolated ballot.
On the whole, scheduling this vote presents a lose-lose situation to Bethlehem officials. Now that it has been set, though, we encourage residents to show out and vote as if it were November come April 30.