AARP has built upon its long and successful history of voter engagement with the multifaceted campaign “Be the Difference. Vote” that is designed to maximize the influence of America’s voters, with a focus on the 50-plus, in the 2018 elections. AARP Connecticut State Director Nora Duncan urges all registered voters in the state to review candidates’ positions on issues important to them and cast ballots.

“The 2018 midterms will be among the most historic elections in a generation so we encourage all voters to be engaged,” said Duncan. “The significant participation of older voters in previous elections show the impact this demographic can have, so we feel it will be important for candidates to actively reach out to voters age 50 and over, especially considering many are likely undecided still. Connecticut’s 50 plus residents are among the most reliable voters and are highly engaged in the important issues of our day.”

Over the past four decades, older Americans have turned out to vote in far greater numbers than younger citizens. The 50+ voters decided the 2016 presidential election where 90.5% of registered voters aged 50+ participated. In the 2014 midterm elections, 75.2% of registered voters aged 50+ participated in the election. The mid-term drop off rate of 50+ voters is equal to the 18-34 year old turnout in 2014 [Source: US Census].

The critical state issues the candidates need to address in Connecticut include:
• Implementing the Connecticut Retirement Security Program to ensure a more secure financial future for our 600,000 employees without a workplace savings option;
• Protecting the interests of residential consumers in a constantly evolving energy industry;
• Maintaining the funding of vital services our 459,000 family caregivers depend on, as well as the proposal for a family leave law that provides paid leave to employees;
• Supporting services that allow seniors to live independently in their homes and communities where they want to stay instead of expensive nursing homes.

Connecticut voters also deserve to hear the solutions from candidates on federal issues such as Social Security, Caregiving, Prescription Drugs, Medicare and Medicaid.

Voters can have their say this November by pledging to vote in this year’s elections at www.aarp.org/vote or texting VOTE to 22777 where they’ll be sent a message with a link to sign a pledge to vote in this year’s elections (link for Spanish is www.aarp.org/vota and English is www.aarp.org/vote). Visit the Connecticut Secretary of State site (www.ct.gov/SOTS) for more information about election dates, voter engagement and registration in Connecticut.

As part of the campaign, AARP Connecticut plans to ask the gubernatorial and other statewide candidates questions that matter to the state residents and release them as part of a video voter guide. In addition, AARP Connecticut volunteers will meet voters locally across the state now through November. They will be at festivals, community events and cultural venues asking people of all ages to pledge to vote in the primaries and the general election and providing those who need it with blank voter registration cards.