WDIV Focused On More Informed Voter Turnout

Voter turnout in 2014 in key state elections in Michigan was less than 50% in many counties around Detroit.

“As a region, we can do better and should do better,” said Marla Drutz, general manager of WDIV, Graham Media’s NBC affiliate in Detroit.

To that end, WDIV/ClickOn Detroit launched Your Soapbox, a citizen engagement project, part of the station’s Decision 2018 coverage leading up to the midterm elections.

Through conversations with the people of metro Detroit, Your Soapbox will identify local issues of priority for voters and work to inform and engage diverse viewpoints.

Through the Your Soapbox roadshow, WDIV/ClickOnDetroit will travel across the region to connect with voters and citizens of all ages to encourage voter participation and hear what is important to their lives.

“Everyone should vote their own interests and we, as a non-partisan news organization, need to not only report the stories that are interesting but the policy decisions big and small that affect our viewers,” said Drutz.

At the recent Mackinac Policy Conference, a yearly conference bringing together political figures, business leaders and innovators from all political backgrounds and ideologies, the station hosted several 4 Minute Debates on issues facing the region.

NOTE: Years ago, I saw a PSA about voting that has stuck with me. The spot showed sweeping aerial footage of the gravestones at Arlington Cemetery. As I recall — and I spent an hour trying to find the spot — the message was simple, something like: “If you need a reason to go and vote, we thought we’d show you a few.”

Powerful message. If anyone knows where that spot is online, please let me know.

Specialist Matthew T. Bolar

By the way, when it is time to vote, think of Specialist Matthew T. Bolar, the son of Anne Adkins, retired VP of marketing for Raycom. Matthew was killed in combat in Iraq in 2007 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

I keep this picture of Matthew in my wallet. If you want to feel protected, print it out and stick it in yours.

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