Democratic Engagement Exchange aims to get more Sudbury voters to the polls

When it comes to the upcoming federal election, what matters to you?

Voter engagement key for upcoming federal election

John Beebe is a senior adviser on the Democratic Engagement Exchange. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

When it comes to the upcoming federal election, what matters to you?

That's the question the Democratic Engagement Exchange asks as it works with local community groups to promote democracy.

The Ryerson University-based group was in Sudbury Tuesday to conduct training with local organizations.

John Beebe, the group's senior advisor, told CBC News that they take a unique approach to engaging voters.

"We sort of turn traditional voter engagement on its head," Beebe said. "We actually never tell people that they should vote."

"We start by asking them a question: 'What matters to them' and what that does is it connects people's interests to the election."

Beebe added that the sheer size of the country, and the diversity of the residents means there are plenty of issues spread across the spectrum.

"The key thing is that there are things that [voters] care about," Beebe said. "And that then they connect those concerns and their hopes for their community, for their families, for their friends, to the election."

The result is a more engaged voter, he said.

Beebe said the group will be providing tools and resources to local organizations during the training at the YMCA today, including information about running a Vote PopUp, which is a simulated polling place.

The Democratic Engagement Exchange is in Sudbury for a Vote PopUp. The group is also in the nickel city to conduct training with local groups. John Beebe, the senior advisor and leader of the Democratic Engagement Exchange house at Ryerson University joined us in studio to explain what a Vote PopUp is and to talk about the training they offer and some of the other things they do. 6:02

With files from Angela Gemmill


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