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Sep 17, 2020

65-Plus Voters May Tip The Scales In 2020

Sponsored Content provided by Suzanne Black - NC Coastal Associate State Director for Advocacy and Community Outreach, AARP

AARP North Carolina Survey finds Social Security and Medicare Transcend Party Lines

In today’s world of political division, one issue unifies voters of both parties – protecting our earned benefits by strengthening Social Security and Medicare. AARP North Carolina released a new voters’ survey that shows a significant majority of voters from both parties say that they are more likely to vote for a candidate who will protect Social Security (87%), strengthen Medicare (88%), lower drug costs (86%) and increase protections for nursing homes (81%).
 
The survey also found that voters age 65-plus are not a lock for either presidential candidate, with President Trump and former Vice President Biden locked at 48% each among voters of all ages. However, the numbers differ for older voters where former Vice President Joe Biden (52%) leads President Donald Trump (45%) among voters 65-plus. In the Senate race, Cal Cunningham (48%) leads Thom Tillis among voters 65-plus (41%).
 
What this indicates is that when it comes to winning over older voters who are the most active, candidates must talk about the issues that matter to voters 50 and over – like voting safely from home or in-person, preventing cuts to Social Security and Medicare and lowering prescription drug prices.
 
The North Carolina poll findings include:
 

  • Voters 50-plus plan to vote by absentee ballot (16%) or early in-person (45%) in large numbers this year.
  • 55% of voters 50-plus are worried about getting coronavirus and 23% know someone who has passed away from coronavirus.
  • More 50-plus voters are concerned about getting infected with coronavirus (63%) than getting a vaccine for it (33%).
  • A majority of voters 50-plus (45%) are worried about not being able to retire
 
AARP works to protect voter safety
 
The state passed bipartisan legislation to make voting more accessible during the coronavirus pandemic, with support from AARP North Carolina.
  • All registered voters can request an absentee ballot online or by email and safely cast a vote from home – no reason needs to be given. Formerly, voters could request a ballot only by mail or in person.
  • A new law reduces the number of witnesses required to sign an absentee ballot from two to one.
  • Curbside voting will be available at polling places for voters who are unable to enter the facility because of a physical or mental disability. Voters who are elderly or who have an underlying condition that makes them susceptible to severe medical complications from the coronavirus will also be able to vote curbside.
  • Election offices are getting an extra $27 million to pay for items such as technology, upgraded security, protective barriers, sanitizing supplies, hand sanitizer and personal protective equipment for poll workers at voting locations.
For those who need information on voting in 2020, including absentee ballots, voting by mail and curbside voting, please visit the AARP North Carolina website at: https://states.aarp.org/north-carolina/election-voting-guide.


Suzanne LaFollette-Black has been a gerontologist for the past 35+ years. She is the AARP NC Associate State Director of Advocacy and Community Outreach. Suzanne’s career has been in the aging network as a non-profit nursing home administrator, Area Agency on Aging Director, Executive Director of Moore County Department of Aging. Suzanne is originally from Window Rock, Arizona (Navajo Indian reservation). Suzanne has a BS in Sociology and minor in Zoology/ Music from NAU and graduate studies at USC Ethel Andrus Percy Gerontology program and MASA from University of North Texas, Denton, Texas. She served as the NCAOA (NC Association on Aging, Inc.) President from 2018-2020; Rotary; NCIOM Deaf and Hearing committee; Governor’s Highway Safety Executive Committee; and other community organizations.

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