AARP is fighting to protect AAPI 50-plus voters

The pandemic has forced so many to make sacrifices we never thought possible: limited family gatherings, rescheduled weddings and canceled trips to visit family and friends.  But we should not sacrifice our right and responsibility to vote.

This month many communities nationwide launched their voter registration activities for the 2020 election. Historically, in every election cycle, citizens miss the voter registration deadlines, which means the community was not fully represented. This year, AARP is making sure every voice is heard on the issues that matter most to the 50-plus – including preventing cuts to Social Security and Medicare, lowering prescription drug prices, and voting safely from home or in-person.

For nearly four decades, turnout among voters age 45 and up have consistently outpaced other age groups. That is why AARP launched “Protect Voters 50+,” a comprehensive voter engagement campaign for the 2020 elections. The campaign provides information on where candidates stand on issues that matter to Americans 50+ and help them cast their votes safely from home or in-person.

Currently, there are about 178 million people working and paying into Social Security with every paycheck and many are concerned about its future. Older Americans are also interested in plans for the future of Medicare. It’s a matter of continuing access to quality and affordable health care. The 50-plus community who rely on prescription drugs for varying health conditions are also keen on whether policymakers will take action to lower prescription drug prices. Too many are faced with the choice of paying for life-saving prescriptions over rent, food and other essentials.  

In this year’s election, Asian Americans may break voter turnout records. Overall, Asian Americans are more enthusiastic about voting this year than previous elections with 47% of Chinese, 62% of Filipino, and 58% of Asian Indians responding this way, AAPI Data reported. However, that is not guaranteed without engaging them in the months ahead of Election Day (Nov. 3).  That is why AARP and APIAVote are working together to mobilize Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) to get registered to vote and to actually vote.

It’s important to know your voting options in 2020. First, you can vote from home. Second, you can vote early. Third, you can still vote in person, on Election Day (Nov. 3).

Every state has different guidelines for absentee ballots and early voting. To help provide people with the information they need, AARP has developed state-by-state guides so voters can learn about their options for safer voting during the pandemic. Visit aarp.org/Election2020 for specific information about your state. If you choose to go to a polling place, please check to see if your regular location is still open or has changed due to the pandemic. Additionally, prioritize your personal safety: make sure to wear a mask, bring your ID, keep social distancing, and sanitize afterwards.

The pandemic is no excuse to force anyone to pass on their civic duty. Voting is fundamental to our democracy. So, candidates who want to win over these influential voters need to hear their concerns, court their vote and enable them to vote safely from home or in-person. 

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