State Farm Arena opens today as Georgia’s largest early voting precinct.

Photo Credit: Brandon Abernathy / 3 Cent Media

Today is the day that Fulton County residents will get to be a part of history as the State Farm arena opens up their doors to become that largest early voting precinct in the COUNTRY.

Voters who vote at State Farm will receive this unique Georgia Voter sticker

The goal is that thousands of Fulton County voters will have a nice comfortable voting experience and not have to relive some of the horror stories of long lines and broken machines that were reported during the last election in June. Led by Owner Tony Ressler, CEO Steve Koonin and Head Coach Lloyd Pierce, the Atlanta Hawks have taken the initiative to show their impact to the city of Atlanta far beyond the 90 feet of hardwood. Koonin has repeatedly said in meetings and conversations with the media that, “We are more than just a basketball team.”

The Atlanta Hawks are active in the community all year round and this is just another example of why this is a first class organization that is in tune with the people that it serves. Last week the media got a preview of how the early voting process will go and here are some of the details.

  • Voting machines will be cleaned after each use.
  • Marta will reopen their station to help with transportation. In addition they will provide free parking and have multiple entrances to the arena.
  • 200 Hawks employees will be paid for their work and have been trained by Fulton County.
  • The facility has close to 100 voting units and hopes to have close to 300 by November.

We spoke with Fulton County Chairman Robb Pitts about how excited he was about the partnership with the Hawks and the impact it will have on the community.

The idea of turning the facility into a precinct spawned from an idea that Steve Koonin had while watching some of the unrest and protest happening right outside the Hawks arena back in June.

“I picked up the phone and said ‘I have an idea,” Koonin said. “He (Pittman) said “Can I meet you tomorrow?”

Coach Lloyd Pierce also mentioned that when Koonin brought the idea to him and Ressler it took “a nano second” for them to be on board.

Today is the first day for early voting for General Primary runoff elections for local and state offices. Reports are that up to 94 counties will be holding runoff elections. Early voting ends on August 7, and the runoff will be held August 11.

Here are some shots from the guided media tour the Hawks held last Friday.

All photos are courtesy of our guy Brandon Abernathy of 3 Cent Media. Follow 3 Cent Media on Instagram