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Iowa's older voters projected to decide primary election outcome

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Mark Moran

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(Iowa News Service) Advocates for Iowa's older population are calling on seniors to vote in Tuesday's primary election and have identified their priorities for candidates seeking their support.

There are three ways to vote in Tuesday's primary. Voters can choose to cast a ballot by mail, vote early in person at their county auditor's office, or the old-fashioned way, by going to polling places and filling out a paper ballot on Election Day.

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Brad Anderson, state director of AARP Iowa, said whatever method they choose, there is power in numbers for the state's older voters.

"One thing we know for sure is that older voters will dominate the overall turnout," Anderson pointed out. "During the last primary election in 2022, 77 percent were 50 or older."

Anderson said because Iowa's older voters turn out in high numbers at the polls, AARP is telling candidates exactly what is important to the state's seniors and what it takes to win their support. He pointed out retirement and health care-related issues top the list.

Anderson added the group has laid out a list of priorities for the candidates, reminding them three of four voters in Tuesday's primary will be 50 or older and their votes could decide the election.

"Older voters care deeply about the future of Social Security," Anderson observed. "They also care about Medicare and making sure Medicare is intact. And then finally, they care deeply about lowering the cost of prescription drugs."

Anderson stressed despite recent steps taken as part of the Inflation Reduction Act to reduce the prices of some prescription medications, cost remains a hurdle for many older Iowans. The polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday.