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Maryland's Guide to Election 2012

Candidates' views on Social Security, Medicare, financial security

One in seven Marylanders receives Social Security benefits. If not for Social Security, the incomes of 25 percent of residents age 65 and older would fall below the poverty line.

"AARP is committed to ensuring that Americans who pay into Social Security receive the benefits they have worked for," said Kelli Holsendolph, AARP Maryland communications director.

AARP believes Social Security benefits should keep pace with inflation and be kept separate from the rest of the federal budget.

Of the nearly 800,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Maryland, 684,000 are 65 or older.

AARP believes Medicare should continue to guarantee affordable care and specific benefits while strengthening the program so that current and future generations can count on having access to high-quality, affordable coverage.

"Medicare provides peace of mind for Maryland seniors," Holsendolph said.

Debate set for Oct. 28
Such issues are expected to be a focal point in an Oct. 28 debate between incumbent 6th District Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R) and Democrat John Delaney in the state's most hotly contested congressional race.

The lines of Maryland's eight congressional districts were recently redrawn, moving a large portion of Montgomery County into the 6th District in Western Maryland. That changed the 6th District from one that reliably voted Republican to one with a majority of Democratic voters.

AARP Maryland and Maryland Public Television are sponsoring the debate. Audience members will have a chance to ask the candidates questions.

To obtain a copy of the voters' guide or to register to attend the 6th District debate, visit the AARP Maryland website. To find out where you vote or to get information on early or absentee voting, check the Maryland State Board of Elections website or call 1-800-222-8683.

Christopher J. Gearon is a writer living in Derwood, Md.

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