This post was made possible by AARP in their effort to protect the 50+ vote. All opinions are my own.
Make your vote count this year. How do you do that? By voting, of course.
When my parents arrived in the USA from the Dominican Republic and after living through a rough dictatorship (Trujillo) they knew this was home now. Lucky for us, we had a legal status (a green card) the minute we landed.
They knew that voting was one of the key freedoms of American life, so they had to prepare accordingly in order to participate in the future. No matter what you believe or whom you support, it is important to exercise your rights. If you’re like me, voting is a scary proposition this year, but regardless, I am continuing the legacy of parents.
Health officials have learned so much about the pandemic, but there is still so much more to learn. Even so, there are things that we can do that we know FOR SURE will help keep us safe and protected when we vote. As a woman over 50, I am very aware of my vulnerabilities where this virus is concerned.
Because I know there are so many out there like me, I wanted to share some tips on how you can make your vote count and stay healthy at the same time this year.
Why It’s Important to Make Your Vote Count
Voting is a right guaranteed to us by the constitution of the United States. It’s the way we make our voices heard. It’s how we decide who will lead our country for the next four years.
The decision we make now will affect our country for the next four years and possibly many more after that. That’s why voting is so important. No matter what your party or ideology, voting is the way you make yourself heard.
While it’s important for everyone to vote, people aged 50 and over have traditionally made up the greatest percentage of voters in every election.
We’re the key demographic that helps decide the future of our country. However, this year has made it clear that those of us who are over 50, and especially those with pre-existing health conditions, have to be extremely careful with our health as we continue to try to squash the pandemic.
It’s possible for us to be as safe as we can and still vote, and that’s a good thing because there are some major issues that could be addressed after this election that will dramatically affect our age group.
Major Issues Affecting Voters 50 and Older
- Economic Health for People 50 and Older
- Controlling Perscription Drug Costs
- Protecting and Strengthening Medicare
- Building a Strong Long-Term Care System
- Strengthening Social Security
Ways to Make Your Vote Count Safely
As you can see, there are some issues coming up that are vitally important to the future for everyone at some point but especially important to folks 50 and over right this second.
So with so much at stake, here are some tips to help make your voting experience as safe as possible. These tips come directly from the CDC’s safety guidelines for voters and poll workers, so they are as up-to-date as possible.
First and foremost, be sure you’re registered to vote in the 2020 General Election in your state. None of these tips matter if you can’t actually vote, after all.
In addition, it’s important to be aware of all important dates and voting rules. AARP, a company devoted to making life better for people 50 and over has released a great state-by-state election guide that you can use to ensure you’re able to vote.
Find Alternative Voting Methods
Voting by mail or dropping your ballot in a designated voter dropbox are two ways that you can make your vote count without exposing yourself to large crowds.
Voting by mail has been proven to be a safe way to make your vote count, and dropboxes are monitored to ensure that there is no tampering with votes.
In either case, your mail-in or the absentee ballot will have thorough instructions on how to properly fill it out and return it to ensure that your vote is counted.
Get all of your ducks in a row before heading to your local polling place to ensure that you have the smoothest, fastest, and safest voting experience possible.
Be sure that your local voting place is still where it used to be. Some locations have changed due to the pandemic. After that, these preparatory steps are key.
- Be sure your voter registration is up to date.
- Check with your local election official for handicapped access information if you have a disability.
- Bring your own black pen for paper ballots or your own stylus for touchscreen voting machines.
Avoid Crowds and Use Best Practices for Safety
If voting in person, go to your local polling place during off-peak hours. In addition, when you head to your local polling location, look at the crowd and line.
You can wait in the parking lot for it to clear out a bit before going in to reduce the number of people you are around. While inside your polling location, practice these key safety precautions.
- Wear, at minimum, a cloth face covering. If you can get a medical mask, that’s even better.
- Be sure the mask covers your mouth AND your nose.
- Wash your hands before entering and after leaving the building.
- Bring alcohol-based hand sanitizer to your polling place and use it after touching anything.
- Practice social distancing, maintaining a minimum of six feet of distance between yourself and other individuals.
- NEVER touch your face.
Stay Safe and Make Your Vote Count
This election is one of the most important ones that we as voters aged 50 and older have seen in a long time. With so many key issues to our demographic in play, it’s vital that you make your vote count this year.
With the above tips, you can make your vote count and still be as safe as possible. The election day is 11/3/202. Join me and go vote!