Nationwide Campaign Aims to Help Voters Age 50+ Hold Politicians Accountable
Today, AARP launched “Be The Difference. Vote™,” a comprehensive voter engagement campaign to support Americans age 50-plus as they vote in the 2018 midterm elections. The campaign will provide information on where politicians stand on the issues and help these decisive voters hold politicians accountable for their positions this November.
To promote voter engagement throughout Iowa ahead of the June 5 primary, AARP staff and volunteers are travelling to 16 cities across the state during May to give presentations and have discussions with Iowans on current state and federal issues impacting the 50-plus as well as new Iowa voter laws that are in place for 2018.
AARP’s effort will seek to get the largest possible turnout of 50-plus voters at the polls in the general election in November. It 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.
“Older voters are a major force in elections, yet time and again, some candidates, campaigns and policymakers underestimate their influence,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP’s Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer. “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.”
“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,” added John Hishta, AARP’s Senior Vice President of Campaigns.
The “Be The Difference. Vote” campaign includes a one-stop online portal — aarp.org/vote — that will provide people with the information they need about this year’s elections, including:
• a pledge to take action
• voter guides
• issue briefings
• poll results
• and how federal elected officials voted on key issues, like the health care repeal bills last year.
A centerpiece of AARP’s voter engagement efforts is an online voter pledge. The text of the pledge is as follows: “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 battlegrounds across the country, AARP will track key races, sponsor debates, and host candidate forums, issue forums, and tele-townhall events. Election information will be provided through a full-scale digital effort, including aarp.org/vote, the AARP Now app, social media outreach, graphics, and news alerts. AARP will also use direct mail, phone banks and transportation assistance to help people get to the polls.
Additionally, AARP and POLITICO are teaming up to create a new series, entitled “The Deciders,” which will combine analysis, demographic profiles of the 50-plus electorate, and stories capturing voter sentiments in battleground states such as Florida, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Ohio. POLITICO will also hold events in key states featuring candidates from both parties.