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The importance of seniors this election

Oct 27, 2014

Seniors could play an important role in the upcoming election, as Michiganders age 50 and older are expected to represent well over half of the voters who show up to the polls next week. That’s pretty typical of a non-presidential election. But as Michigan Public Radio’s Jake Neher reports, seniors and retirees are playing an especially important role in this year’s election.

Credit Alliance for Retired Americans / Flickr

An important issue for seniors in the upcoming election is the tax on retiree pensions, signed into law by Gov. Snyder. Democratic challenger Mark Schauer has made it a central campaign issue, with ads that say Snyder "created a new tax on seniors’ retirement," and that promise to end the tax.

Meanwhile, an ad paid for by the Republican Governors Association attacks Schauer’s position on taxing the elderly.

Perry Seavitt, a self-described Republican, finds himself leaning toward Democrat Mark Schauer due to his position on eliminating pension taxes. However, Seavitt admits that the conflicting ads leave him puzzled about both Snyder and Schauer’s stance on seniors.

“It’s a huge deal to reach out to that constituency, because they’re dedicated voters and they make up such a large percentage of the overall electorate,” said AARP Michigan spokesperson Mark Hornbeck.  

*Listen to Jake Neher discuss the role of seniors in the upcoming election above