I am quite put off by the number of candidates who have yet to respond to the AARP Voters’ Guide questionnaire.  A phone-in conference hosted by AARP on Monday garnered almost 20,000 AARP members who wanted to learn about important issues such as property taxes, long-term care, health care and affordable utilities. As they consider candidates for the November 8 election, AARP members and all New Jerseyans want to know where candidates stand on these issues.

Most state legislative districts have over 30,000 AARP members, the vast majority of whom vote.  Prior elections have been won by far less than that.  According to the US Census Bureau, seniors are the only group in the country that has consistently increased its rate of voter turnout.  AARP members can swing an election either way.  The 2011 AARP Voters’ Guide will help New Jersey voters understand their candidates’ views on key issues.

To date, less than half of the candidates who received the simple, web-based questionnaire have responded.  AARP repeatedly calls these candidates to remind them of how important the Voters’ Guide is to senior voters and just how much of an effect members can have on an election. Shame on candidates who don’t respond!

Marilyn Askin

AARP Chief Legislative Advocate

Monroe Township, NJ