AARP poll finds safety is a concern for older voters

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Election Day is just six weeks from Tuesday. A new poll gauges concerns of Pennsylvania voters aged 50 and older.

The poll conducted by AARP finds that voters in that age group not only want their voices heard, but also want the ability to vote safely

Pennsylvania voters, including those 50 and older, have several ways to cast their ballots for the general election. While you can vote in person or by mail-in or absentee ballot like the June primary, there’s a new wrinkle this time.

“The State Supreme Court made a ruling last week that allowed county boards of elections to set-up satellite offices and drop boxes as well,” AARP Pennsylvania state representative Joanne Grossi said.

Not just to cast your ballot on election day, but also just about any day before the election.

“If you can go to that satellite office, ask for a mail-in ballot, fill it out right there and submit it right there so it’s another way to keep Pennsylvanians safe when they vote,” Grossi said.

There’s also a change to the voter registration deadline if you’re not already registered to vote.

“You have now up until 15 days before the election so that this year is going to be October 19. If you want to apply for an absentee ballot, you have until October 27,” Grossi said.

The absentee ballot application deadline, just one week before the election, is tricky. It takes time to get that ballot to you before you get it into the proper hands.

“They do have to be postmarked by 5 p.m. on November 3rd and received by the county board of elections by 5 p.m. on November 6th. So the State Supreme Court did allow a few more days for those ballots to be received,” Grossi said.

If you’re voting the old-fashioned way, pandemic precautions are the name of the game.

“Social distancing, making sure people stay at least six feet apart, requiring that they wear masks to enter. All of the poll workers will be wearing masks as well,” Grossi said.

When it comes to what’s most important to voters 50 and up, the AARP poll shows three particular programs stand out.

“They want candidates who are supporting Social Security, Medicare and lowering prescription drug costs. That is an overwhelming majority in both parties to support those issues,” Grossi said.

Why are voters 50 and older so important? In 2018, they accounted for 61 percent of all voters meaning they very well could tip the scales in the upcoming election.

There’s plenty of information for voters. You can click here, here, or here for more information. Or you can call 877-VOTES-PA.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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