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The filing deadline for candidates planning to run for office in Idaho is looming, and Idahoans will know who to expect on the ballot come May 15, 2012. What they may not know is where those candidates stand on key issues, such as financial security and other pocketbook concerns. AARP Idaho plans to change that.
As candidates gear up to start hitting the campaign trail, AARP Idaho announced its first-ever statewide effort to help the most powerful voting group in the state, the 50+ and the public learn the candidates’ positions on some key issues before the primary. The effort will be marked with the debut of AARP primary voter guides for every state legislative race as well as the Governor’s and Lt. Governor’s races. This will be the first time the Association has done voter guides for primary elections in the Gem State.
In the 2010 Idaho primary, voters age 50 and older accounted for an astounding 73% of all votes cast – nearly 3 out of every 4 voters were 50+.
For the voter guides, AARP will ask the candidates their positions on critical issues, such as how they will work to help consumers have a stronger voice when utility rate hikes are proposed; what they plan to do to address long-term care and aging issues in Idaho; how they will help the increasing number of Idahoans who struggle to pay for health insurance; and what they will do to help improve the state’s economy to put people back to work.
“AARP will work to engage our members, Idaho’s 50+, and the public this primary season, giving them a new tool to learn where the candidates stand on issues that matter to many voters,” said Angela Cortez, interim State Director for AARP in Idaho. “Idaho’s 50+ are the strongest voice and voting group in primary elections in Idaho and across the nation, and we want to make sure candidates are addressing their issues.”
AARP will work across the state to engage its members and the public this election season, meeting with members in person, on-line and via phone to discuss the issues and distribute the voter guides. Starting in early May, the voter guides will be available, to the public. As part of the efforts, AARP will also work to let voters know about changes in the voting process, such as the new closed Republican primaries and voter identification requirements.
“It’s important that voters have nonpartisan tools and resources to help cut through the rhetoric and noise to get the facts they need on the issues they care about,” said Cortez.
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