Roughly 3 million Floridians care for older parents, spouses, children and adults with disabilities, or other loved ones, helping them to live independently in their homes and communities, where they want to be.
A labor of love, family caregiving can be exhausting and overwhelming. That doesn’t change on Election Day. It can be incredibly difficult for many family caregivers to take a break from their caregiving responsibilities to get to the local polling station. And if a caregiver’s love one is voting too and has mobility issues, it can be even tougher.
But there are options for voting that can help family caregivers.
Absentee voting by mail or early voting could, for family caregivers and many others, be key to fitting voting into a busy life. The rules for early voting, absentee ballots and all-mail voting differ from state to state. You can find the most up-to-date information on voting rules in our state.
First, make sure you and your loved ones are registered to vote. Registration deadlines and rules vary by state. Here in Florida, voters must register by July 30. On Election Day, 34 states require voters to show some form of identification at the polls, asking them to sign a card and checking the signature against their voter registration card. Voter ID laws vary from state to state. Here’s a list of possible identifications voters can bring to the polls.
Regardless of how you vote, AARP Florida Director Jeff Johnson has urged all registered voters to review candidates’ positions on the issues and to cast ballots in the upcoming primary election.
“The 2018 midterms will be among the most historic elections in a generation,” said Johnson. “All voters are encouraged to participate, and the candidates for office would be wise to reach out to older voters. Age 50-plus Floridians are among the most reliable voters and are highly engaged in the important issues of our day.”
Registered voters will have the opportunity on Aug. 28, to vote in primary elections that, in some parts of the state, will determine political parties’ candidates for Congress, as well as the parties’ contenders for many local and statewide offices. Nationwide, the balance of power in both houses of Congress, as well as in many state legislatures and governorships, will be decided in the fall’s general elections.
This year, AARP has launched “Be the Difference. Vote,” a multifaceted campaign designed to maximize the influence of America’s 50-plus voters. The campaign seeks to get the largest possible turnout of voters age 50-plus to the polls during the ongoing primaries and in the November general election. It will also put front and center issues like Medicare security and family caregiving, along with other topics of particular interest to older voters.
To learn more about “Be the Difference. Vote,” check out what we’re doing in AARP Florida at states.aarp.org/vote4FL or what AARP is doing at aarp.org/vote to see how to get involved and stay informed.