WNBA's Chiney, Nneka Ogwumike Volunteer as Poll Workers in Texas' Harris County

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 3, 2020

FILE - In this Friday, May 31, 2019, file photo, Los Angeles Sparks' Chiney Ogwumike (13) and her sister Nneka Ogwumike celebrate after a win over the Connecticut Sun in a WNBA basketball game in Los Angeles. Chiney Ogwumike doesn’t know what kind of reception she’ll get from the Connecticut Sun fans when her new team, the Los Angeles Sparks, visit on Thursday.  She’ll understand if the fans boo her after she asked for a trade to Los Angeles in the offseason. Meanwhile, she’s having a great time in Los Angeles with her new team and her sister Nneka. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Los Angeles Sparks stars Chiney and Nneka Ogwumike volunteered at a drive-thru voting station at Toyota Center in Houston, per the Harris County Clerk Twitter account.

Chiney and Nneka are natives of Tomball, Texas. Their younger sister, Olivia, spent her final three collegiate seasons at Rice in Houston, and Erica Ogwumike just graduated from the school.

Chiney, who works for ESPN in addition to her WNBA playing career, wrote a piece for Cosmopolitan explaining why she was traveling back to Texas in order to perform her civic duty:

"So, why am I doing calling out of my job to work the polls? First, because I can. I am privileged to work for a company that is allowing it, and I'm blessed to be able to take a day off work without losing pay. Second, because it's needed. In most election years, the older generation has predominantly manned the polling stations. This year, with the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affecting elderly people, it's important for us young, healthy folks to carry the torch. I've also been so inspired by my WNBA colleagues this season, standing up for their beliefs both on and off the court, and this is my way to contribute to moving that needle for change."

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Harris County instituted drive-thru voting. The process allows anybody of voting age to cast a ballot from inside his or her vehicle.

A group of Republicans petitioned the Texas Supreme Court to invalidate ballots that had been cast through drive-thru voting, but the judges denied the motion Monday. To stave off further legal challenges, Harris County closed its drive-thru locations on Election Day with the exception of Toyota Center.


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