October 1st, 2020
If you’ve spent any time watching TV, or listening to the news, you’re likely very aware there’s an election just around the corner on November 3. Voter turnout among older Americans is higher than other age groups, with nearly71 percent of Americans 65 and older casting a ballot in the 2016 presidential election. And, by all indications, seniors will once again play a crucial role in the outcome of this year’s election. So, while political ads tend to either talk about the candidate’s strengths or their opponent’s weaknesses, there are other issues that have the attention of seniors in this state and this country.
A survey by the AARP and the Harris Poll found that heath care is one of, if not the most, important issue for older Americans. In particular, women over the age of 50, identified health care and their top issue in the election and of those women seven out of 10 believe older people pay too much for heath care compared to others. The COVID-19 pandemic and the plans to combat it remain a concern of seniors and many other Americans as well. Among the additional health care concerns that will likely have the attention of many older voters are the cost of prescription medication and the cost associated with long-term care.
Medicare continues to be a key issue among older Americans and with 60 million (about 18 percent of the population) now being served by the social program it’s not surprising candidates often make a point to show their commitment to protecting Medicare. By 2030, experts predict there will be more than 80 million people enrolled in Medicare.
Like Medicare, Social Security will always be a top priority for older Americans. In fact, according to the Social Security Administration, around 60 percent of seniors who are retired rely entirely on social security for their income. As a result, it’s likely that candidates’ positions on social security will play a significant role in the decisions seniors make when voting this election.
Living in retirement and preparing for their future, and often the future of their loved ones, means the state of the economy matters to seniors. From investments to the cost of goods and services, economic conditions will be a focal point for older Americans.
There are a number of other issues that seniors will be considering when they cast their ballots this election season, including:
With the coronavirus social distancing restrictions still in place and with older Americans considered to be among those in the high-risk category, many seniors may prefer to vote by mail this year instead of going to the polls.
In order to do so there are some key dates for registered voters to be aware of in order to vote by mail in the November 3 election.
October 19 – Last day to update your voter registration
October 27 – Last day to apply for a mail-in ballot
November 3, 8pm – Deadline to return your voted mail-in ballot
Voted mail-in ballots can be returned by mail or dropped off at your county’s election office. To apply for a mail-in ballot or to learn more visit VotesPA.com. And, of course, you can still vote in-person on November 3.