CENTERVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) – Bill Friel lives at the Randall Residence Senior Living in Centerville with his wife Libby. The couple have been married for 55 years, and voting for much longer.
Bill says he’s been voting in almost every election for the last 60 years. This year, he says he has noticed something unlike every other time.
“I think there’s a lot of divisiveness in the country and one of the ways we can maybe start bringing things together is through an election,” he said.
He also shared that he believes younger voters should get more involved in civics education.
“Learn your government at the lowest level,” he said. “I have a feeling that we just don’t know enough about the local level of government and it means a lot to us.”
The Friel’s say it was important for them to vote in this election. Despite moving to Randall Residence recently, they were assisted with their absentee ballots thanks to a staff member who says she’s making it her mission to help all of the residents vote.
“Especially for this generation, being patriotic and voting is really really important to the residents,” said Linda Shaver, assisted living activities director at Randall Residence. “I just make sure its a priority that I get all of the resources taken care of [for] them to vote and vote on time and have them feel satisfied that they’ve done their patriotic part.”
Traditionally, Americans who are 65 years and older have turned out in large numbers for most elections. Many of them also use absentee ballots to vote. According to data from the 2016 Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES), 91.8% of voters over the age of 65 voted by mail.