Election express gets underway

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 15, 2005

AARP Virginia unveiled its Voter Information Express on Wednesday at Capitol Square in Richmond with a bipartisan collection of state leaders presiding over the ceremonies.

The Voter Information Express is expected to travel more than 10,000 miles around Virginia between now and Election Day, November 8.

Duane Hass, an advocacy volunteer for AARP District Four, said the Express is planning on making its Suffolk appearance at Peanut Fest.

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&uot;I talked with the state advocacy director yesterday up in Richmond,&uot; said Hass, &uot;I asked her if it will be at Peanut Fest and she said it’ll be here for three or four days.&uot;

Those participating in the Capitol Square introduction included Senate Majority Leader Walter Stosch (R) and House Minority Leader Frank Hall (D).

About 940,000 Virginians are AARP members.

That, combined with national data that shows that people 50 years old and older vote at a higher rate than younger age groups (60.6 percent), makes the AARP an important voice and source of information in local, state, and national level elections.

The Express, which takes the form of a red, white, and blue minivan, will expand the AARP’s pre-election activities.

Free information and material will be on hand at van stops, including voter registration forms, absentee ballot applications, information guides about specific issues, and It’s Time to Address the Issues that Unite Us, a brochure on issues affecting senior voters.

&uot;The van will be there (Peanut Fest) along with some volunteers of the local Suffolk chapter,&uot; said Hass, &uot;they’ll be passing out voting guides for state races for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general.&uot;

Hass said, &uot;the theme this year is, ‘Get your facts, use your power, and vote.’&uot;

AARP does not give endorsements or campaign contributions to candidates.

More information about AARP can be found at either their national Web site, www.aarp.org, or their Virginia website, www.aarp.org/va.