AARP recently launched “Protect Voters 50+,” a comprehensive voter engagement campaign to support and protect Americans age 50 and up as they vote in the 2020 elections. The campaign will provide information on where candidates stand on issues that matter to Americans 50-plus and help them cast their votes safely from home or in-person.
A centerpiece of the campaign focuses on providing customized, state-by-state information about voting options this fall. AARP’s print publications will produce separate editions for each state, accompanied by direct mail, digital communications and paid media. The campaign will also advocate for enhanced absentee ballot access and pursue litigation when needed.
“The bottom line is that 50-plus voters are a major force in every election, and they are not a lock for either party,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP executive vp and chief advocacy and engagement officer. “To win, candidates must talk about the issues important to them — including voting safely from home or in-person, preventing cuts to Social Security and Medicare and lowering prescription drug prices.”
“AARP is demanding action to make sure that Americans 50-plus — whether they are working parents, family caregivers or seniors in nursing homes — can vote and make their voices heard,” said John Hishta, AARP senior vp of campaigns. “Politicians need to protect the health and financial security of voters 50+, especially during this pandemic.”
The “Protect Voters 50+” campaign will provide people with the information they need about this year’s elections, including:
- Video voters’ guides
- Battleground state polling
- Issue briefings
- Direct mail, text messaging, social media and paid media
The campaign will also focus on the core issues that AARP members and the 50-plus population say are most important to them: protecting Social Security and Medicare, lowering prescription drug prices, keeping residents and staff of long-term care facilities safe and helping Americans recover from the impact of the pandemic on the nation’s economy.
This is the first time, Hishta said, that AARP will concentrate on helping people understand some of the changes in the election process that are taking place in states because of the pandemic.
“In many respects, we’re serving as a communications vehicle to make sure people know how to vote,” he said. “We want to make sure people know what to expect and when to expect it.”
In battlegrounds across the country, AARP will track key races, sponsor debates and host tele-townhall events. Election information will be provided through a full-scale digital effort, including aarp.org/election2020, AARP Now app, social media and news alerts.
Ron Mori is a member of the Washington, D.C., JACL chapter and manager of community, states and national affairs — multicultural leadership for AARP.