Living In The Ledge
Baby Boomers take up most of America’s population, so it makes sense that older adults are more likely to vote compared to younger adults.
When you’ve been voting your whole life your need to vote doesn’t stop just because you’ve decided to move into a senior citizen home.
The preferred ways for casting a vote for seniors residing in long-term care facilities are by absentee ballot, or the activities coordinator organizes transportation to the polls.
“Seventy-five percent of them do the absentee, and 35 percent are veterans,” says Lee Clark, a receptionist at Independence Village of Grand Ledge.
Why is it that seniors are more likely to vote? When considering the benefits they receive from the government, they have many matters to vote about: from Medicare to Social Security to Medicaid.
“Obviously it’s our duty. Not only our duty — it’s our opportunity to make things happen the way that we think they should,” Marilyn Smith, a Grand Ledge resident involved in various community events such as the historical society, said.
Another concept to consider is that elders are less likely to move around. When you move around you have to change your address, meaning you have to re-register to vote.
Most of these senior citizen voters have been residents of their town for a long time. Like Smith, they have ties to their city, unlike younger adults who seem to move around a lot more.
“We grew up in a generation where it was our privilege,” Smith said, “I think a lot of the younger people, maybe not the people now in college because they’re starting to see it as a privilege but the generation in the middle there, didn’t see voting as a privilege or an obligation. Not all of them, but some of them.”
Time could be another factor as to why seniors are more likely to show up to the polls. Unlike working-age voters, most senior voters are retirees. So, they do not have to worry about fitting in time before work to go to the polls. They can go whenever they please.
A reason that stuck out was hearing Smith talk about the Great Depression, a time when most of the people her age knew what it was like to be hungry.
“You think the recession is bad? The depression was worse,” Smith said.