— By Mary Van Beusekom To raise the profile of issues important to Minnesotans age 50-plus, AARP is encouraging older voters to study candidates’ stances and to cast ballots in this year’s high-stakes elections. “It is very important to us to make sure our issues are being focused on and that candidates are providing relevant information to 50-plus voters,” said Seth Boffeli, AARP Minnesota communications director. “The candidates need to reach out to these voters, motivate them to vote and say …

— By Natalie Missakian Jim O’Brien recalls missing only one election in almost 50 years of voting, and the 69-year-old Cheshire resident knows he’s not alone among people his age in Connecticut. “I’ve frequently talked to other AARP members whose voting records are as good as or better than mine,” said the AARP volunteer. Politicians know that “as a group, we go to the polls.” AARP members could play a key role in the 2018 state elections. With Democratic Gov. Dannel …

— By Jill Gambon During her 35 years working for the Social Security Administration, Louise Myers witnessed the impact the program has had on people’s lives. As a retiree, Myers wants to make sure Social Security remains intact. That’s one reason she’s a volunteer advocate with AARP Massachusetts. “I am a firm believer in keeping Social Security protected,” said Myers, of North Chelmsford. “I saw that my voice could be heard through AARP advocacy work.” Myers is one of about a …

— By Pamela Schmid When Vikki Casey Steward signed up to be an advocate for AARP Minnesota three years ago, she had “no idea the potential for impact the role offered beyond, for example, working the booth at the State Fair.” Instead, two weeks after signing up, Steward, 62, of Eden Prairie, found herself at the state Capitol, meeting with her state senator and representative. Soon after that, she met with her U.S. representative, Republican Erik Paulsen. “He was very receptive; …