AARP Connecticut has launched online state and federal Voters' Guides for critical races in November's elections.

AARP has produced voters' guides for key races in Connecticut, including president, U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and more than 160 state legislative races. The guides are now available online at AARP.org/vote.

"AARP is committed to helping older Americans cut through the campaign clutter and political spin to find out where the candidates stand so they can make up their own minds on Election Day," said AARP Connecticut State Director Nora Duncan. "It's no secret that older people vote in greater proportions than any other age group. In Connecticut, with one of the oldest populations in the country, about 85 percent of residents over age 50 are registered to vote and 71 percent of them voted in the last presidential election."

AARP represents nearly 600,000 members over the age of 50 in Connecticut.

For state races, the guides provide candidates' answers to questions about re-balancing Connecticut's long-term care system, supporting family caregivers, protecting utility and telecommunications consumers and state budget priorities, such as restoring the state property tax credit and protecting senior safety net programs.

For federal races, the guides feature side-by-side comparisons of candidates' public statements on topics such as how they would protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare for today's seniors and help Americans build a financial nest egg for their retirement.

As part of the association's nonpartisan voter education efforts, AARP Connecticut is hosting a Telephone Town Hall conversation with its members and each of the major party candidates for U.S. Senate. A one-hour call with Republican candidate Linda McMahon will take place on Thursday, Oct. 25, from 10 to 11 a.m. A one-hour call with Democratic candidate Chris Murphy will take place on Friday, Oct. 26, from 10 to 11 a.m. Each call will be recorded in its entirety and be available to listen or download on the AARP Connecticut website, AARP.org/ct.

AARP Connecticut also is hosting a candidate forum for the 4th Congressional District between Democrat Jim Himes and Republican Steve Obsitnik on Friday, Nov. 2, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn, 1070 Main St. Bridgeport. Registration is required by calling 1-877-926-8300 or registering online at http://aarp.cvent.com/CTVoterEd4.

AARP staff and volunteers also will be distributing printed voter guides at forums and other community events through Election Day.

Earlier this month, AARP released a series of surveys on the opinions of voters ages 50 and older that which found that they overwhelmingly think the candidates have not done a good job of explaining their plans on Social Security (67 precent) and Medicare (63 percent). Voters 50-plus -- across party lines -- say that getting more information on the candidates' plans on Social Security (72 percent) and Medicare (70 percent) will help them determine their vote on Election Day.

"This Election Day, Connecticut voters will play a critical role in determining how our state and federal government addresses a number of important challenges that impact current and future generations," said Duncan. "Our goal is to make sure voters know where the candidates stand on issues important to older Americans and their families so they can make an informed choice on Nov. 6."

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