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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

LEARNING A LOT FROM VOTER REGISTRATION

BRYCE ON POLITICS

- Just sit and listen to the people; you will get an earful.

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Last month I attended an Art Festival in the downtown area of Palm Harbor. This is a typical small town affair attracting no more than a couple of thousand people. The downtown street was closed off from traffic so vendors could erect tents and displays for their wares. At this time, I volunteered to assist in the registration of voters for the 2016 election. This was a first for me, so I didn't quite know what to expect. Now, I know some of you will say, "Wait Tim, you're a Republican; Republicans don't want people to vote."  "Au contraire" my liberal opponents; You have to remember, I come from a generation who believes you do not have the right to complain about the country unless you are at least willing to vote. It is the most fundamental way of demonstrating your civic responsibility.

The organizer of the event had a simple table and chairs for us to distribute Florida standard voter registration forms. The form served three purposes: to register a new voter, to change voter address, and to change political parties.

This was a party neutral activity as we would assist anyone with their registration needs, regardless of their party affiliation. As we sat there, we would cheerfully ask passerbys if they were registered to vote. I was pleasantly surprised to find most of the people were already registered, and we would thank them for being so. We also ran into some people who growled they had no interest in voting whatsoever, which I still do not fully comprehend.

We had a few dozen who were new to the area and wanted to register to vote, but most of the people we talked with wanted to change their address or party affiliation. I was particularly surprised by the latter. These were Democrats who wanted to change to the GOP. Although most wouldn't comment on their reasons for doing so, one woman in particular adamantly said, "Enough is enough."

Although this was a party neutral event, there were many people who wanted to engage us in conversation regarding politics. Topics included everything from Obamacare to ISIS and "Muslim extremists," to Voter ID, to our fragile economy. We also heard opinions regarding the candidates, particularly Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. It was most illuminating to just sit back and listen to John Q. Public, who made it plain they were unhappy with the current state of affairs in our country.
If you ever get a chance to participate in such an event, I encourage you to volunteer your time. First, it is not difficult to do, but more importantly, you will learn a lot about what people think of our system of government.

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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