Early voting on the weekend is something our community should continue.

There are a lot of arguments for it and only one against — cost. There’s a cost associated with anything, but does it equal making sure citizens of Rome are able to participate in the election process? It’s worth it, without question.

Making sure people are involved in the process is of the utmost importance.

In 2018, we had Saturday and Sunday voting available. Even in our most recent city election in 2017, commissioners voted to have weekend elections. In the 2015 city election we had weekend voting. Why has it changed now?

During federal elections, of which there are none this year, it’s mandated there be Saturday voting. If a city or county wants to include Sunday voting they pay for it. Unless the price is exceptionally exorbitant, we should.

A previous election official estimated each day costs between $500 and $600 per day; that’s a small sum to pay for citizen participation.

We should do anything and everything in our power to increase participation, even though many of our residents have decided to opt out of the process and will continue to do so.

Still, we should make sure they have the chance. Our participation in city elections historically has been fairly low — 20% in 2015 and 22% in 2017.

All that being said, there is also some room for kudos during this election season. The city moved the early voting location to the Floyd County Health Department at 16 E. 12th St. It’s easily accessible, has a large parking area and is on a bus route.

Be counted

While our 74% participation rate in the 2010 census was better than our overall participation rate in city elections — it could improve as well.

There’s no argument, population determines political power. As a result of the last census, Georgia gained a congressional seat, while other states lost out, and even more importantly the count affects us in terms of federal funding.

How does that affect us every day? Well, those funds go toward so many things. A Georgia Municipal Association study indicated that every person counted in 2010 brought in $1,639 in federal aid each year for Georgia schools, infrastructure, law enforcement and other needs.

Near the end of March, postcards will go out to each household which will allow you to go online and fill out the 10-question form. Or, if you’re old school, the forms will still be available to be filled out by hand and mailed in as well.

And finally, we will chop on

It is with great sadness that we announce the untimely passing of the hopes and dreams of Atlanta Braves fans after the tragic and humiliating loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 5 of the National League Division Series.

Many Rome residents were pulling for the Braves and it seemed like the team might have a chance this year. But our hopes were snuffed out like a candle in the wind on a cool October evening. It may appear that it is Georgia sports fans’ lot in life to cheer for teams that only disappoint us.

But like the fabled phoenix (or gluttons for punishment, depending on how you choose to look at it) we will rise from these ashes to rekindle our hopes next season.

Nevertheless, we will chop on. We will keep supporting our teams.

And we’d like to wish a happy retirement to Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann.

The veteran catcher is among those beloved of many local Braves fans, particularly since he spent some time with the Rome Braves.

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