LeBron James' 'More Than a Vote' Pushing NBA Arenas as 'Mega' Polling Sites

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2020

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 10: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during a game against the Brooklyn Nets at the Staples Center on March 10, 2020 in Los Angeles, CA. 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 Credit: 2020 NBAE (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)
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More Than a Vote, a nonprofit founded by Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, is advocating for NBA areas and other large sports venues to be turned into mega polling sites ahead of the November general election, according to the Associated Press' Bill Barrow

Jonathan Martin of the New York Times reported the group will "partly be aimed at inspiring African-Americans to register and to cast a ballot in November." Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young, Phoenix Mercury star Skylar Diggins-Smith and former NBA star Jalen Rose are among those also involved with the organization.

"Yes, we want you to go out and vote, but we're also going to give you the tutorial," James said of the effort. "We're going to give you the background of how to vote and what they're trying to do, the other side, to stop you from voting."

The Atlanta Hawks announced on Monday they will convert State Farm Arena into a polling location when early voting begins July 20 for the Aug. 11 primary runoff election. It will also be used for the November general election.

On Wednesday, the Detroit Pistons announced a similar step with their training facility.

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Beyond allowing for potentially more people to vote at a time, transitioning to larger polling stations will allow for voters to maintain social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"One of our greatest challenges in protecting voters' access to democracy this November is identifying accessible locations where citizens can safely vote in person," said Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, per Barrow.