Questions to Consider as You Prepare to Vote
Written by Rosemarie Betuker and Jennie Griggs, MA
Education is Key: Your Vote, Your Choice
Several issues face older Americans in the upcoming election – including for the first time how to vote during a pandemic safely. As the backbone of American elections, we know that nearly 71% of voters 65 and older voted in the 2016 presidential election, compared to those aged 18 – 29, who represented 46% of the total votes. This year it is estimated that approximately 23% of the electorate will be age 65 or older. There are several notable races in addition to the Presidency this election. All 435 House seats are up for grabs, 35 seats in the Senate and 11 Governors will be elected. Understandably with the pandemic, those statistics are likely to change in this election. Hopefully, each of you has registered and has a plan of how you will vote by mail, absentee, or at the polls.
Rosemarie Betuker, board member and government instructor at the Northern Wake Senior Center, writes, "we need to take the time and responsibility to educate ourselves by researching, listening to the candidates, parties, advertisements, and debates. We have provided some of the questions that apply to the aging population encouraging you to seek the answers.”
With the election such a short time away, we felt like it was essential to draw your attention to seniors' most relevant issues and questions that you should ask before voting. If you have not taken the time to seek answers to these topics, you may want to do so. This election is by far one of the most critical elections of our lifetimes and for those generations to follow.
Questions for National Candidates for President, Senate, and House of Representative:
1) Does the Candidate propose eliminating in any way funding for Social Security or Medicare
2) Do they have proposals for continuation of either? If so, what are they?
3) Does the Candidate have any proposals for lowering the cost of Prescription drugs, for help for long-term care costs, help for the 40 million family caregivers, for Medicaid costs?
4) What would you do to combat ageism and address its growth in America today?
Questions for State and local officials:
1) What should be the State’s responsibilities for helping with long term care are, family caregiving and Medicaid costs?
2) What can state and local governments do to help with technology, aid equipment, education funding for seniors to live and fully participate in their communities?
3) What can state and local governments help seniors deal with isolation, loneliness, dementia Alzheimer's disease, and other mental and emotional problems?
4) What can state and local governments do to prevent elder abuse?
5) How can state and local governments help with employment opportunities for seniors?
6) How can the state and local governments help with technology, cost, and training?
7) What would the candidates do to improve housing affordability and public transportation for older Americans?
Image by Phillip Goldberry