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With More than Half of All Votes to Come from 50+, non-partisan AARP Brings Issues of Powerhouse Voting Group Front & Center
New York, NY – As the race for the Mayor of New York City continues to heat up, the 453,000 AARP members in NYC are reminding the candidates they should pay close attention to the issues of the group that will determine the winner, voters age 50+. AARP is driving that point home today with the release of a new analysis finding NYC’s 50+ voters will account for more than half of all ballots cast in the upcoming primary and general elections, with 1 in 4 votes coming from an AARP member.
Based on the AARP analysis, in 2009, the last mayoral election year in NYC, 51% of the votes, or about 577,000 of the 1.2 million ballots cast, came from a 50+ voter. In 2010, even though the 50+ population only made up 42% of eligible NYC voters, they accounted for 54% of the electorate.
While AARP has a 27 year history of non-partisan, non-endorsing voter engagement, the Association is diving into NYC races for the first time ever. AARP will focus its efforts on the candidates’ positions on economic security issues, such as affordability of living in NYC, employment for 50+ workers, fraud, and caregiving.
“The issues important to the biggest voting demographic in NYC elections this year aren’t the ones we are hearing the candidates address on the campaign trail, so we’re changing things up a bit, and for the first time, truly going local with the issues and our voter engagement efforts,” said Beth Finkel, State Director for AARP in New York. “The 50+ aren’t just an important vote in this race; they are the vote that will likely decide the outcome.”
AARP has roughly 453,000 members in NYC – and the bigger the election, the greater the turnout. Over the last five years, 68% (307,939 – roughly 26% of the NYC voting electorate in 2009) of AARP members voted in NYC local elections, when a federal race was on the ballot; the participation rate soared to nearly 80% (357,753 – roughly 30% of the NYC electorate in 2009). With the magnitude of the city races this year, AARP fully expects to see a very high percentage of its members hit the polls.
As part of the Association’s non-partisan voter engagement activities, AARP is working to ensure that candidates provide solutions on issues most important to New Yorkers age 50+. This includes, non-partisan Voters’ Guides, sponsoring several forums and teaming up with the Asian American Federation, the Hispanic Federation and the NAACP to host the only debate bringing the crucial voting groups together to have candidates focus on key issues to each organization. The Association will be engaged in the elections on the ground and on-line, engaging not just its hundreds of thousands of NYC members but the public and the candidates on crucial issues.
Data analysis is compiled from the NYC Bureau of Elections, U.S. Census Bureau 2010 Current Population Survey, AARP’s 2012 Member Opinion Survey and 2009 NYC exit polls conducted by Edison Research.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world’s largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity of AARP that is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50+ by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.