UPDATED, 2:42 PM: Storied arenas on both coasts are getting political in this consequential year. Madison Square Garden in Manhattan and the Forum in Inglewood near LAX said separately today that they will serve as polling sites for the November 3 elections.
Voters who are assigned to Madison Square Garden, where the New York Knicks and Rangers play, can vote early from October 24-November 1 with varying hours, including weekends, early morning and evening options. The poll site at MSG’s Chase Square, at the 7th Avenue entrance between 31st and 33rd streets.
“Madison Square Garden holds a special place in the hearts of New Yorkers, and we are proud to be working with them in ensuring voters can cast their ballots in a safe, spacious and familiar environment,” says Executive Director Michael J. Ryan, executive director of NYC’s Board of Elections. “In an election where enthusiasm is at a fever pitch, we recognize the significance of having a venue like MSG on our side to make the process not only more convenient, but really give voters the sense they are part of something exciting and historic.”
Here out West, voters will be able to vote in person or drop off mail-in ballots at the Forum from October 24-November 3, according to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk . The vote center at the Forum, which is owned by Los Angeles Clippers owned Steve Ballmer, will follow all CDC and Public Health guidelines and best practices, officials said.
“You have undoubtedly heard the voices of our players, coaches and staff, passionately and powerfully urging Americans to register and exercise their right to vote,” said Gillian Zucker, Clippers President of Business Operations. “We are dedicated to the same cause: fighting voter suppression and empowering all citizens to determine meaningful progress, for this generation and generations to come. Inglewood is the home of the Forum and will soon be the home of the L.A. Clippers. Now, it will also be a home for local voters, to come together and help shape a brighter future.”
PREVIOUSLY, August 13: They’ll be singing “Take Me Out to the Polling Place” at Dodger Stadium this November, as the Chavez Ravine facility will become an election voting center.
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James and his “More Than a Vote” group have partnered with the Los Angeles Dodgers to make the initiative happen. It is the first time a Major League Baseball team has offered its facility as a voting center.
Besides baseball without fans, Dodger Stadium has been used for coronavirus testing and food distribution in recent months.
“Dodger Stadium is part of the fabric of Los Angeles, and we’re proud to continue to partner with the County to make the property available for the benefit of the community at large,” Dodger president and CEO Stan Kasten said in a news release on Thursday. “Voting is all of our civic duty, and we’re excited to work with More than a Vote to do anything we can to help get out the vote by making this process as easy, accessible and safe for all Angelenos.”
Starting in the five days before the Nov. 3 election, all registered voters in Los Angeles County will be able to park for free and vote at the stadium.
The county allows any eligible voter to cast a ballot at any of the 1,000 vote centers in the area. Whether the voting will take place indoors or outside has not been stated, but the location will observed social distancing protocols.
“I may still be new to L.A. but it didn’t take long for me to learn how special the relationship is between the Dodgers and Lakers,” said a James statement. “We are all in this together. “I’m really proud we were able to help the Dodgers become the first MLB stadium to open for voting. This is exactly why we created More Than a Vote. A lot of us now working together and here for every team who wants to follow the Dodgers lead and turn their stadium into a safer place for voting.”
The NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks and Detroit Pistons have made similar offers to vote at their venues.
Dodgers starter David Price, currently opted out of the 2020 season because of coronavirus concerns, is involved in More Than A Vote.
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