It appears that senior citizens take their voting rights seriously.
According to Pierce County records, in 2008 at least 79 percent of those 65 and older cast ballots, compared to an overall voter turnout of 52 percent.
Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson said that females over 55 are particularly good voters, and county election supervisor Mike Rooney agrees.
â€œI would point to those voters who have seen the impacts of what voting does. They recognize the importance of voting,â€ he said.
Anderson added, â€œThey just have more skin in the game, meaning in terms of paying taxes and understanding how they are raised and collected. They are more educated citizens and have more civic experience.â€
Pierce County has been using all-mail ballots since 2010 and hasnâ€™t had a poling place election since the middle of 2010.
Anderson, who oversees the countyâ€™s elections, said that senior citizens tend to move a lot, and it is extremely important that voters keep the auditorâ€™s office updated as to their current address.
â€œThis is a time when they are downsizing and moving closer to their kids,â€ she said.
Eighty-nine year old Dixie Gatchel is a consistent voter and said her father was a great believer in the right to vote.
â€œHe worked hard and grew up during the Depression,â€ she said.
Gatchel added that she voted in her first presidential election when she was 21.
â€œI voted for Harry Truman. I grew up with no Social Security and no health insurance and no workmanâ€™s compensation. My first job was 35 cents an hour with no paid vacation, and the little people had nothing at all. When FDR (President Franklin D. Roosevelt) came long, we had lived through the Depression,â€ she said.
Ernie Bay added that he was always interested in the issues and believes if you donâ€™t vote, you get the consequences.
â€œI vote because I donâ€™t want to be bossed around by the other bunch,â€ he said.
Anderson and Rooney stress the importance of being sure everyone signs their ballot with their everyday signature.
â€œWe call it the Piggly Wiggly signature,â€ said Anderson. â€œThe one you use when you are checking out at the grocery line.â€
In the upcoming general election, ballots will be mailed on Oct. 18 by the auditorâ€™s office to voters countywide. Non-registered voters need to be sure to register on line at www.vote.wa.gov or by mail by Oct. 7, officials said. The deadline for new voters to register in person only is Oct. 28.
If a voter doesnâ€™t receive their ballot, they are encouraged to call the auditorâ€™s office at 253-798-VOTE (8683).
There are 27 dropoff sites for ballots across the county that will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week until 8 p.m. on Nov. 5, which is the actual election day and the last day ballots can be turned in. No stamp is required for a dropoff site.
If voters mail in their ballots, they should be absolutely certain to have them postmarked no later than 8 p.m. on election day, said Anderson.
â€œIf you have made up your mind, vote early,â€ she said.