leafless trees outside rhode island state house
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Voters age 50 and up accounted for more than 70% of Rhode Island voters in the September 13 primary election, according to an AARP Rhode Island analysis of voter records from the Office of the Rhode Island Secretary of State.

In this year’s primary, 72% of voters statewide were 50 years old or older. This held true in the analysis of the Congressional District 2 voters, where 72% of CD2 primary voters also were 50 or older. Municipal percentages ranged from 59% (Providence) to 87% (Narragansett).  

50+ 2022 Primary Voters by Town
  Voted in Primary % of Total Voters Voters 50+50+ % of TownPrimary Voters Voters <50<50 % of TownPrimary Voters
CENTRAL FALLS9611%67070%29130%
EAST GREENWICH2,3712%1,62569%74631%
EAST PROVIDENCE7,8976%5,64671%2,25129%
LITTLE COMPTON6430%53884%10516%
NEW SHOREHAM1860%15784%2916%
NORTH KINGSTOWN4,8014%3,67677%1,12523%
NORTH PROVIDENCE5,5224%4,07374%1,44926%
NORTH SMITHFIELD1,5841%1,20176%38324%
SOUTH KINGSTOWN4,7893%3,83880%95120%
WEST GREENWICH8101%63679%17421%
WEST WARWICK2,8212%2,03472%78728%
  TOTALS136,849 99,145 37,704 

This year’s 50+ numbers increased over the last midterm election in 2018, when Rhode Islanders age 50 and over accounted for 67% of those who voted.

“Voters 50+ consistently show up at the polls in much greater numbers than their younger counterparts – and then some,” said AARP Rhode Island Sate Director Catherine Taylor. “This extremely powerful voting bloc has made it clear that key issues such as protecting and strengthening Social Security and Medicare, improving nursing home safety, achieving retirement security and providing means for people to live in their own homes with independence and dignity as long as possible are powerful motivators when they vote. It is undeniable that Rhode Island candidates who want to win must pay attention to issues that matter to 50+ voters.

“The 50+ are our most powerful voters – and they will be the deciders in the 2022 elections,” Taylor added.

AARP Rhode Island’s “Voters 50+: Our Voices Decide” campaign has engaged tens of thousands of Rhode Islanders seeking information on how, when and where to vote at www.aarp.org/RIVotes. Here they also can view videos of candidates answering questions that reflect older voters’ top concerns as determined by AARP’s most recent statewide Vital Voices Survey. 

AARP is fighting for voters 50+ to make their voices heard on the issues that matter – especially with rising prices, people struggling to pay for groceries and gas, dealing with the pandemic, and retirement savings in crisis, including:

  • Fighting to protect and strengthen the Social Security benefits Americans have paid into and earned through years of hard work;
  • Urging Congress to protect and improve Medicare benefits.
  • Fighting for family caregivers who risk their careers and financial futures to care for parents, spouses, and other loved ones;
  • Fighting for older Americans who want to live independently at home and not be forced into subpar nursing homes;
  • Fighting for Americans to access the health care they need, especially those struggling financially;
  • Fighting to make sure every worker has a chance to save the money they need to take control of their future;

AARP is calling on candidates to propose solutions to address these and other challenges.

AARP is strictly non-partisan, and does not endorse candidates, does not contribute to candidates’ campaigns, and does not have a political action committee.

Follow AARP Rhode Island on Twitter: @aarpri and Facebook: www.facebook.com/aarpri.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.