Hawks, Fulton County to Make State Farm Arena GA's Largest-Ever Voting Precinct

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 29, 2020

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 22:   General atmosphere outside the stadium during an action between the Orlando Magic and the Atlanta Hawks in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 22, 2011 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. The Hawks won 88-84.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2011 NBAE (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks are opening the doors to the State Farm Arena to create Georgia's largest-ever voting precinct, the team announced Monday. 

The partnership with Fulton County will begin with the primary runoff election on Aug. 11, which includes early voting beginning on July 20. The arena will also be used for the general election in November.

"Fulton County is grateful to the entire Atlanta Hawks organization for being an outstanding partner," said Chairman Robb Pitts. "Tony Ressler, Steve Koonin and their organization have once again demonstrated that the Hawks are True to Atlanta."

The site will allow "tens of thousands of voters" to cast their vote while still adhering to social distancing guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This news comes after problems during the primary in Georgia early this month, including extensive delays and voters waiting in line for multiple hours. 

According to former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, 80 polling places were closed in Atlanta since March, which left 16,000 registered voters with just one voting location.

NBA star LeBron James commented on the disparity between white and Black communities:

LeBron James @KingJames

Everyone talking about “how do we fix this?”  They say “go out and vote?”  What about asking if how we vote is also structurally racist? https://t.co/GFtq12eKKt

James later created the More Than a Vote organization to help protect voter rights and was joined by Hawks star Trae Young among others.

The Hawks are now doing their part as an organization, utilizing the arena as a "civic asset to the city of Atlanta."