Voting was simple when you were young. Now that you are old it can become more complex. It can even be stressful. You have to register; you have to remember election day; you have to get yourself to the polling place; you have to wait in line; and, you are aware of the people lined up behind you as you try to read a ballot with small print – and, you forgot your magnifying glass. In addition, you don’t really know who or what to vote for. The language of issues on ballots make no sense.
People who are over 65 seem to turn out to vote more than other age groups, but the percentage was still only about 45% in the last election.
For old people, voting is important. Politicians are constantly looking at Social Security, Medicare and the Older Americans Act. If you don’t vote, you have no one but yourself to blame for what happens. You are part of a major voting block. You need to make your wishes and the wishes of other old people known.
There are five simple steps to voting when old. I will use New Mexico where I live. I will give you key words, so that you and your grand-kid can search out the rules in your state. There are no old age voting requirements that I am aware of. If you have been adjudicated incompetent, you will have a problem. If you have been convicted of a crime you may have a problem.
The goal is to vote at home, take your time and not feel stressed.
- Register – by mail if you can. If not, find out how to do it in your state or call the party you support. They will help you. Make sure that you have the necessary identification.
- Identify the candidates and issues. Check the newspapers for a list of candidates and issues. Or, go on-line.
- Find someone whom you trust to help you, if necessary. Just make sure that it is you that is voting, and not someone else.
- Order an absentee ballot – You can download the ballot in NM and then just send it in.
- Vote at your leisure and mail in your ballot to the county clerk for your county.
Finally encourage all the old people you know to do the same. At the assisted living facility, get the ombudsman to help you if your kids or friends can’t.
The important thing is to vote. You are part of a vulnerable class of voters; and, your rights will be at stake.
Search in your state:
“voter registration +name of state”
“absentee voting +name of state”
Note that registration and absentee balloting differ by states, so check yours out. Check out the competency requirements and the deadlines.