On May 1, 2018, with the 2018 midterm elections looming, AARP launched “Be The Difference. Vote™,” to engage age 60 and older persons to go to the voting polls. The campaign will provide pertinent information to older voters as to where politicians stand on the issues and help these decisive voters hold politicians accountable for their positions this November.
AARP is marshalling its resources to get the largest possible turnout of 50-plus voters at the polls in the general election in November. The Washington, DC-based nonprofit will also work to ensure issues of particular importance to older voters are front and center—issues like Medicare, Social Security, financial security, prescription drug costs, and caregiving.
Bringing Aging Issues to the Forefront
“Older voters are a major force in elections, yet time and again, some candidates, campaigns and policymakers underestimate their influence,” says Nancy LeaMond, AARP’s Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer, in a statement released on May 1, 2018 with the announcement about the kick-off of this voter education drive. “Our work will not only mobilize 50-plus voters, it will also bring the issues they care about to the forefront of campaigns across the country. Older voters are watching and they vote in impressive numbers,” adds Leamond.
Adds, John Hishta, AARP’s Senior Vice President of Campaigns, “This campaign is AARP’s biggest effort yet and it will use every tool at its disposal. We will mobilize voters by integrating technology, events, data, polling and earned and paid media.”
AARP’s “Be The Difference. Vote” campaign includes a one-stop online portal — aarp.org/vote — that will provide people with vital information, including voter guides, issue briefs, poll results and how federal elected officials voted on key issues like the health care repeal bills last year, they need to make decisions on voting in the upcoming midterm elections, just over six months away.
Taking the Pledge
A centerpiece of AARP’s voter engagement efforts is an online pledge that the voter can take – “I pledge to be the difference and VOTE in the election this year. Every vote counts, and together, we the people can hold politicians accountable and make them pay attention to important issues like Medicare, Social Security, prescription drugs, caregiving, and financial security.”
In battleground states across the nation, AARP will track key races, sponsor debates, and host candidate forums, issue forums, and tele-townhall events, educate the voters and to get the vote out. Election information will be provided timely through a aarp.org/vote and AARP Now app, through social media outreach, and finally, news alerts. AARP will also use direct mail, phone banks and transportation assistance to get people to the polls.
Finally, AARP has teamed up with POLITICO to create a new series, called “The Deciders,” which will combine analysis, demographic profiles of the 50-plus electorate, and stories capturing voter sentiments in key battleground states such as Florida, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Ohio. POLITICO will also hold events in key states featuring candidates from both parties.
For Details on how to register to vote and/or where to vote, contact the Rhode Island Board of Elections. Go to www.elections.state.ri.us or call (401) 222-2345.