Fulton County and the Atlanta Hawks will once again transform State Farm Arena into Georgia’s largest-ever voting precinct for early voting for November’s General Election, beginning on Monday, Oct. 12 and concluding on Friday, Oct. 30. State Farm Arena will be open to registered Fulton County voters seven days a week to cast their ballot. Fulton County and the Atlanta Hawks & State Farm Arena were the first professional sports team and local municipality to partner in making the team’s primary venue available as a polling precinct to adequately adhere to CDC-recommended social distancing guidelines and provide the opportunity for tens of thousands of residents to cast their ballot in a state-of-the-art, centrally located facility.
State Farm Arena was one of 20 early voting locations for the Georgia General Primary Runoff Election that took place from July 20 through Aug. 7. In addition, Fulton County Registration & Elections conducted other elections support operations at the site, including absentee ballot processing and more. For the upcoming early-voting period for the General Election, State Farm Arena has tripled the number of voting machines onsite from 100 to 300 and will double the number of available staff daily to approximately 300 to ensure a smooth process.
Additionally, the Atlanta Hawks announced that employees will be compensated for time spent voting and serving at the polls on Election Day 2020 on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Employees who choose to vote early in-person or drop off an absentee ballot will also receive payment for their time spent voting. More than 200 Hawks & State Farm Arena full-time employees have been deputized and trained to serve as official election workers by Fulton County to support the operations of the early voting at State Farm Arena with more than 300 team members participating overall. Each staffer working will be excused from their day-to-day responsibilities to assist with election operations.
“We are proud that the Atlanta Hawks, State Farm Arena and Fulton County were first movers in the effort to utilize our state-of-the-art arena for voting in this important election year. Our goal has been and continues to be to provide a safe, secure, socially-distanced voting process that allows for as many registered voters in Fulton County as possible to exercise their right to vote,” said Atlanta Hawks & State Farm Arena Principal Owner Tony Ressler.
“The partnership between Fulton County and the Atlanta Hawks is vital in encouraging our voters to get to the polls early,” said Fulton County Chairman Robb Pitts. “When the Hawks initially approached the county with the idea of becoming partners, it demonstrated the lengths this organization was willing to go in order to help us make the voting experience a positive one for our residents – something that we at the county are extremely grateful for.”
Earlier this year, State Farm Arena was named the Best New Concert Venue in the United States by Pollstar Magazine and was honored by the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) with the 2019 Venue Excellence Award (VEA). For the second consecutive season, the Hawks finished with the NBA’s top ranking in overall in-game experience, a wide-ranging category made up of the following areas where the team rated highly: arena ushers, in-game entertainment, in-arena technology, in-arena retail, in-arena food experience and more. The Atlanta-Fulton County Recreation Authority, a government agency, is the owner of the property and leases the site to the Atlanta Hawks organization.
“Having the Atlanta Hawks to once again step up and serve as one of our premier early voting locations is truly appreciated,” said Registration and Elections Director Richard Barron. “The Atlanta Hawks have set an example that other organizations locally and around the country are following to help get people to the polls early. When voters enter the State Farm Arena, they will have every resource needed including top level customer service to successfully cast their ballot in a safe secure environment.”
The Hawks Foundation will provide complimentary parking to individuals accessing the venue to vote with more than 1,500 parking spots in close proximity to the arena available. MARTA will also provide direct access via the MBS / State Farm Arena / Georgia World Congress Center / CNN Center MARTA station. For more information, visit www.statefarmarena.com/vote.
# TrueToAtlanta #