NBA Will Pause Games On Midterm Election Day So That Fans Can Go Vote

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Registrants sign in to Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, where a voter registration event occurred on September 21, 2020, in Cleveland, Ohio. - Cleveland sports teams, the Browns of the NFL, Cavaliers of the NBA., and Indians of MLB, partnered on the voter registration to encourage Ohio voters to cast their ballot on election day. The group “More Than a Vote” is partnering with various organizations to help convert venues (like the Cavaliers’ Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse) into voting sites, address the shortage in poll workers, particularly in communities of color, and fight voter suppression.
Registrants sign in to Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, where a voter registration event occurred on September 21, 2020, in Cleveland, Ohio. - Cleveland sports teams, the Browns of the NFL, Cavaliers of the NBA., and Indians of MLB, partnered on the voter registration to encourage Ohio voters to cast their ballot on election day. The group “More Than a Vote” is partnering with various organizations to help convert venues (like the Cavaliers’ Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse) into voting sites, address the shortage in poll workers, particularly in communities of color, and fight voter suppression.

All 30 teams in the NBA will not host any games on November 8th, the date of the midterm elections, to galvanize fans to get out and vote, according to CNN. Instead, games will be played the night before on November 7th “to amplify the work of each team to promote civic engagement in their respective markets and share important voting resources from our partners,” the organization said.

Teams will also provide information about voter registration and state processes in the months leading up to midterms.

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From CNN:

“Over the next few months, teams will distribute information on their state’s voting process and voter registration deadlines and are encouraging everyone to communicate this information with families and friends to ensure they all have a plan.”

The league hopes teams “will use the platform of games played [the day before Election Day] to amplify the work of each team to promote civic engagement in their respective markets and share important voting resources from our partners.”

In the 2020 Presidential election, the NBA converted arenas into polling places based on a deal players forged with the league when the Milwaukee Bucks refused to play their game against the Orlando Magic over the shooting of Jacob Blake. 35 of the 100 Senate seats, as well as every House seat, are up for grabs.

“It’s unusual. We don’t usually change the schedule for an external event,” James Cadogan, the National Basketball Social Justice Coalition Executive Director, told NBC. “Voting and Election Day are obviously unique and very important to our democracy.”