ALABAMA (WHNT) – Voters ages 50 and up are historically one of the groups most likely to turn up and vote on election day, but older voters sometimes face obstacles on their way to the polls.
According to 2020 U.S. Census Data, voter turnout was highest among voters ages 65 to 74 at 76%. Voter turnout percentages begin to drop off again after the age of 75.
“The biggest thing for our older voters is making sure they have a plan especially if there are mobility issues or transportation issues,” Williams said.
The 2022 Alabama primary election on May 24 will operate differently from the last election.
“One of the biggest things to note is the coronavirus pandemic is no longer a reason to vote with an absentee ballot,” Williams said.
Voters with a disability preventing them from voting in-person may still request an absentee ballot. If a voter intends to vote via absentee in future elections, his or her absentee ballot application must be signed and notarized by a primary care physician.
Driving to the polls and standing in long lines are characteristic election day experiences for most voters, but the state of Alabama offers accessibility options for those who need them.
Handicap-accessible voting machines are offered at every Alabama polling site from 7 a.m to 7 p.m. After notifying a poll worker, voters who are disabled or over the age of 70 may move to the front of the line at a polling place.
American Association of Retired Persons Alabama State Director Candi Williams said voters ages 50 and up remain an important voting block.
“We’ve noticed in previous elections that our voters will turn out to vote, and they will stand in lines and vote at their polls,” Williams said.
Williams said these voters are interested in issues like social security and Medicare.
“With the cost of everything increasing and if people are worried about their retirement plans and their retirement incomes, their on fixed incomes are prices are going up,” Williams said. “These are big concerns, but specifically our 50 plus.”
The absentee ballot application process in currently underway. Click here to apply for an absentee ballot. The deadline to apply is May 17 by mail and May 19 if you hand-deliver your ballot to your county’s Absentee Election Manager.