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Spotlight on Innovations and Achievements: Aging Ahead

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, for its Your Vote Counts! program, winner in the Advocacy category.

Your Vote Counts! mobilized Silver Haired Legislature (SHL) volunteers to provide accurate and up-to-date voting information to homebound older adults who were receiving home-delivered meals. SHL volunteers provided specifics on how to register and vote absentee through a collaboration with local government offices and the League of Women Voters.

Aging Ahead identified the need for this program after predicting that a lack of voting information was shared with homebound older adults; individuals attending Aging Ahead's center were more likely to receive ongoing legislative updates and voting information. In August 2016, 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 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. Using the same processes initiated in this project, Aging Ahead was able to share clarifying information about a new voter identification law that generated confusion. It also shared information to homebound clients on this topic as well as the absentee voting process.

For more information on Your Vote Counts! contact Lisa Knoll, Chief Executive Officer of Aging Ahead at lknoll@agingahead.org

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!

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