Why Seniors Are More Likely to Vote

Seniors consistently show up to the polls on Election Day.

In 2012, over 70% of seniors voted in the presidential election. Inversely, only 40% of people aged 18-29 turned out to the polls in the same election.

Seniors rank as the best voting-age group in just about every election, locally and nationally. This is not an anomaly—in any given election 60-75% of people over 65 vote.

This high voter turnout of seniors has left experts scratching their heads. There doesn’t seem to be a clear explanation for why seniors are voting in such high numbers. There are, however, many theories to answer this puzzling question. We at Alert1 see it as a combination of many factors.

More Time to Stay Involved

Seniors have a lot of time on their hands.

Traditionally, seniors are either retired or only work part-time. This leaves time for them to stay up-to-date on issues. Most of us have memories of our grandparents reading the paper and watching the news. Seniors are no longer working and have more time to stay informed. This extra time allows them to be aware of what’s going on in the world. Their connectedness to political issues leads to a more convicted vote.

Another reason why seniors are more likely to vote than any other age group is because they don’t face the same obstacles that non-seniors do. When the rest of the population is busy working or going to school on Election Day, the senior population is voting. It’s easy for seniors to show up to the polls when they don’t have any other commitments getting in their way. 

Protecting Social Services

Voting

Seniors vote because they have an interest in protecting the services they need.

Social Security and Medicare are services that need protection. Known as the third rail of American politics, these social services were once considered untouchable. With a growing national debt, politicians are toying with cuts to social programs such as changing the age of access to Social Security to aid in reducing the debt.  This threat to alter who can benefit from these services has lead seniors to the polls to protect them.

By casting a united vote, seniors are able to keep these services protected. Seniors have more of an incentive to protect Social Security and Medicare because they know that younger people won’t. Since younger people aren’t receiving these services. This leaves seniors as the only ones who have vested interest in saving these social services.

Deep Community Roots

Seniors are deeply rooted in their community because they have been in their home for years.

This differs from the norm for younger people. Young adults move around more often and have to re-register to vote each time they move. For someone who moves every few years, re-registering to vote is easy to forget. The different living situations are just another reason why seniors are more likely to vote than younger people.  People living in the same home know their polling station since it’s been in the same place for years.

Seniors also have a strong sense of awareness of issues in their community. Since seniors often live in their home for decades, they are aware of what is going on in their community. They know all the good things about their community, as well as the aspects that need improvement. When years go by and these issues grow, seniors are the group that notice. They are the group that is likely to speak up about it. They use their voting voice to do this.

Strong Political Party Ties

Donkey and Elephant

Even if some seniors aren’t as informed as others, they still vote. Why is this? Some experts say that it’s because of their life-long party attachment. Seniors have identified with one political party most of their lives. This makes voting more cut and dry.

Younger people have less political party ties. That’s because they either don’t have solidified ideals or they don’t connect with just one party.  Seniors have already tested their ideals and now stand firm in them.  This means there is one less voting barrier for seniors to vote.

Keep on Voting, Seniors!

I remember being a little kid sitting next to my Grandpa while he read the newspaper with the news on. He was dedicated to being informed. He was a man that was involved in the world. I don’t think it was because he did it for fun, but rather that he felt a sense of duty to do so. He stayed up-to-date and took great pride in keeping America as a place he loved and felt safe in.

No matter the exact reason why seniors feel the need to vote, it’s great that they do. Their dedication to participating in this civil duty is an example for young people to vote. We are seeing trends of more young voter participation in recent years. This is arguably from the example being set by their grandparents and other seniors. So kudos seniors, keep on voting!

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