The idea of the “mega polling sites” to accommodate the expected large in-person voting turnout this fall during the pandemic now can count LeBron James as a supporter.
James and his new More Than A Vote group are supporting the idea to help maximize Black turnout in November. James launched the effort last month alongside athletes like Trae Young and Skylar Diggins-Smith as well as entertainers like Kevin Hart.
Several NBA arenas are in line to host voting sites, including the Atlanta Hawks’ State Farm Arena and the Detroit Pistons’ Little Caesars Arena. While Kentucky used large facilities for the state’s primary in June, some voting rights activists were critical of limiting the state’s two largest counties to the Exposition Center in Louisville and Kentucky’s football stadium in Lexington, fearing it would harm minority turnout.
More Than a Vote’s support came as the Pistons announced their plan to work with the Michigan Secretary of State’s office on multiple initiatives to educate voters and increase voter turnout this fall. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said it’s a “blueprint for other teams and leagues seeking to advance our common goal of protecting access to the vote for all.”
Benson, Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce and former New York Knicks coach David Fizdale will advise other franchises and arena managers who will look to replicate that strategy. The Milwaukee Bucks have confirmed they’re willing to host a voting site. NFL executive Scott Pioli also presented a plan to the National Association of Secretaries of State to use pro and college venues as voting centers.