Georgia’s primary election earlier this month was nothing short of an “unmitigated disaster,” as Stacey Abrams put it. Particularly in Atlanta, with a population that is 51% African-American, there were unacceptably long lines, voting machine errors, and a multitude of other issues at polling locations. Turns out, there is someone who agreed it was a disaster, and decided to do something about it.
Well, not someone. A basketball team.
Yes, the Atlanta Hawks have not only arranged to have their arena used as a massive early voting site for both the upcoming runoff elections (August 11) and the general elections (November 3), but they are also training hundreds of arena staff to be volunteer poll workers.
Hawks’ players will be featured in social media ads encouraging participation in the elections. The team also announced that parking near the arena will be free for voters, and several team-controlled billboards will push get out the vote messages starting next month.
It’s just fantastic — one more voting center that’s accessible to many, and can process hundreds of voters at a time, all thanks to the team getting frustrated by the way things were and wanting to make a significant change.
On top of this, the Hawks’ coach, Lloyd Pierce, said that he would be encouraging other NBA coaches to consider doing the same.
“This will be a challenge to 29 other coaches in our league. We want to get 30 cities in our country being able to take part of everyone’s right, which is the right to vote.”
Does your city have an NBA team? Sounds like they should get some gentle pressure from the rest of us! (Check HERE if you have a team.) Consider tweeting at them–unlike legislators, basketball teams DEFINITELY pay attention to their social media mentions!
It’s so nice to be able to write about some good news regarding voting!
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