This week, the American Academy of Actuaries introduced 2018: Making Issues Count, a series of nonpartisan guides aimed at helping voters become better informed as they approach this year’s elections.
Not only does Memorial Day signal the start of summer, it also marks the moment when political campaigns for fall elections kick into high gear. This year, the American Academy of Actuaries is serving voters by launching its 2018: Making Issues Count, a website that provides a nonpartisan analysis of key issues. The website will be updated through Election Day on November 6.
“Actuaries study and examine the financial consequences of risk,” said David Mendes, assistant director of communications, public affairs, at the Academy. “That means looking at financial risk and financial security, and both of those are very important to voters.”
The new website features election guides grouped in six different categories where actuaries have expertise—and on which voters can base their consideration of candidate positions. Issue areas covered include Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, health insurance coverage, long-term care, lifetime income and retirement risk, and climate risk.
“Issues of financial security and financial risk touch voters’ lives in deep and very personal ways, ranging from having an adequate retirement income and access to affordable, quality healthcare, to mitigating the financial consequences of damages to homes and other property caused by severe weather or natural catastrophes,” said Academy President Steve Alpert in a press release.
Mendes also explained that while the Academy expects the guides to educate voters about key issues, they were not the only audience the organization had in mind when developing them. In fact, the Academy hopes that candidates will refer to them as well.
“As candidates talk about these issues, we hope that they’ll take a look at our information and understand what these issues look like from an actuarial perspective,” he said.
Providing voter guides isn’t a new service for the Academy. In 2016, it developed a very similar guide—and it has done so for many election cycles, according to Mendes. “The Academy’s mission includes service to the profession and to the public,” he said.
But the service to the public is the most important aspect of this project. “It’s a way that the profession gives back to the public and fulfills its mission,” Mendes said.