We're highlighting the cutting-edge programs and successful strategies used by the 2018 recipients of n4a's Aging Innovations & Achievement Awards in this weekly spotlight feature. This week we're focusing on Aging Ahead, winner in the Advocacy category for its Your Vote Counts! program.
Your Vote Counts! Mobilized volunteers from the Silver Haired Legislature to provide accurate and up-to-date voting information to homebound older adults receiving home-delivered meals. Aging Ahead developed partnerships with local government offices and the League of Women Voters to provide information in the community on voter registration and absentee voting.
Aging Ahead identified the need for this program after predicting that a lack of voting information was reaching homebound older adults, even as individuals visiting Aging Ahead centers were more likely to receive ongoing legislative updates and voting information. To tackle the issue, Aging Ahead partnered with the St. Louis Chapter of the League of Women Voters and local voting authorities in each of the four counties that Aging Ahead serves. For agencies looking to implement a similar program, Aging Ahead recommends learning about voter registration and absentee processes and including volunteers in the planning and implementation of the project.
Of the 2,700 flyers distributed to clients receiving home-delivered meals, 193 (seven percent) returned the tear-off portion of the flyer requesting information on additional services. Half of the older adults requesting assistance were already registered to vote. Approximately 50 percent more successfully registered to vote through the Your Vote Counts! project and 88 percent successfully voted by absentee ballot. Of the 68 clients who completed a survey, 98 percent found the information easy to understand and 64 percent were able to share the information they learned with others. In addition, Aging Ahead was able to use the process it had developed during the Your Vote Counts! Project to educate members of the community on a new voter identification law that generated confusion.
To learn more about this year's winners, read our press release and check out our book of winners to learn how your agency can implement this or similar programs in your community!
Thanks to the generous support of WellCare, the Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards 2019 application process will open in February, so watch your email for updates and consider nominating your programs!