other than the nullable issue, which is under review, the rest of this question is based on a mistake I made reading the nesting depth of the json result.
Disregard. Deletion is considered.
regarding the 'edit_count' field found on nested answers and comments.
is not actually returned in any results (that I have seen).
The rest of the issues assume that it will be returned
it is documented only on some nested answer collections and not on others, and not the primary route for the type
questions have no edit_count field, nested or otherwise
it is optional.
Assuming that this field will actually be populated in the future, it would be helpful if it was implemented consistently and if it was not optional. A count field does not typically lend itself to being nullable; either there have been edits or there have not.
Introducing ambiguity to an integer value requires enough client side code as to make the field impractical to use.