The Indiana Citizen Education Foundation Partners with AARP Indiana to Promote Civic Engagement

Posted on 05/28/20

This week, the Indiana Citizen Education Foundation (ICEF) announced a partnership with AARP Indiana, enlisting the organization and its more than 820,000 members in its ongoing efforts to improve the civic health of Hoosiers and move Indiana from the bottom to the top of states as measured by voter turnout.

The new partnership will pursue the goal of increasing turnout by 20 percent in the 2020 general election, connected to an unbiased source of information about the candidates appearing on Indiana ballots. By engaging all Hoosiers 50 and older in this campaign, the new partnership hopes to increase their already strong numbers at the polls and gain their assistance in leading other age groups to register and vote.

“Older voters are the most reliable group of voters across the board,” Sarah Waddle, AARP Indiana state director, said. “But there is much more that can be done to engage Hoosiers across the state. The Indiana Citizen and its approach to inform both current and new voters closely aligns with how AARP has approached nonpartisan voter engagement. We are excited about the work ahead with the Indiana Citizen in helping more Hoosiers get involved and making sure they know as much as possible about the candidates’ positions on the issues that matter to them and their families.”

The Indiana Citizen’s mission stems from the 2019 Indiana Civic Health Index, which had two key recommendations: that a blue ribbon task force study methods of improving Hoosiers’ civic literacy and that Indiana aspire to increase voter turnout with the goal of moving from the bottom 10 to the top 10 of states in 2020.

Under the first recommendation--a task force chaired by Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch which will draft recommendations for improving civic literacy--has already held the first of four meetings. The Indiana Citizen Education Foundation is pursuing the second recommendation and recently unveiled its “One More Voice” campaign to register 750,000 new Hoosier voters.

Under the partnership, AARP Indiana will join the Indiana Civic Health Alliance, a coalition of civic-minded organizations supporting the pursuit of those recommendations. The alliance already includes Indiana and Purdue universities, Cummins, the American Legion, the Mitch Daniels Leadership Foundation and the League of Women Voters.

“AARP’s support for our civic engagement work is consistent with our goal of encouraging more Hoosiers to cast an informed ballot without caring how they’ll vote,” Bill Moreau, co-founder of ICEF with his wife Ann, said. The Moreaus have been AARP members for more than a decade.

Moreau and the Indiana Citizen were recently featured in the May edition of the AARP Bulletin, which circulates widely through Indiana. Plans also call for The Indiana Citizen to be featured in an AARP Indiana Telephone Town Hall.

Under the new partnership, AARP Indiana will act as a sponsor of the Indiana Citizen Education Foundation, providing financial support which will further the foundation’s efforts to make its Indiana Citizen digital platform a localized, nonpartisan resource for AARP Indiana members and the general public.

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