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Older Wyomingites could decide 2024 elections

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Eric Galatas

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(Wyoming News Service) People in Wyoming aged 50 and over had the highest voter turnout in the 2022 midterm elections compared with other age demographics, according to new Secretary of State data

Voters over the age of 50 accounted for more than two-thirds of all voters in 2022. 

Tom Lacock, associate state director of AARP Wyoming said that the trend for strong turnout among older voters has been consistent since 2008.

"Older adults hold that right to vote as sacred," said Lacock. "There's not a question of whether they'll do it, it's just do they want to go in early into the polls, or is it a preference of a mail-in vote."

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Only 13 percent of voters between the ages of 18 and 24 cast ballots. Nineteen percent of voters aged 25 to 29, and 29 percent of voters aged 30 to 39 showed up for their civic duty. 

Just over 40 percent of voters aged 40 to 49 voted in the 2022 election.

Lacock said the turnout data show that issues top of mind for older Wyomingites should also be top of mind for candidates. 

A recent AARP survey of older Wyoming voters showed strong support for policies and services, such as the Wyoming Home Services Program, that help residents age in-place. 

And 84 percent said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who would work to expand access to quality, affordable long-term care.

"To folks who are running for election in 2024 and beyond," said Lacock, "it makes sense to get an understanding for what the needs are of this demographic, because this is the group that will in fact decide the 2024 election."

Nearly nine in ten older voters say keeping Medicare and Social Security available for future generations, and being able to afford prescription drugs, was extremely or very important. 

Other top priorities include being able to afford adequate health insurance, protecting residents from scams and fraud, and increasing access to affordable housing.