Major league stadiums serving as polling sites for 2020 election

By America Lopez-Santiago
October 25, 2020

During the presidential elections, there are many places where one can go vote. Some places might be schools and libraries. However, the polling places may look a bit different due to COVID-19.

This year for the 2020 election, stadiums are being used for polling sites. The reason several leagues are turning their stadiums into polling sites is because of the 2016 election turnout. According to Pew Research, only 55 percent of eligible voters voted for the general election in 2016. Many people are still unsure how the turnout will look for this election. 

There are over 40 sports venues across 20 states that will be serving as polling sites. Leagues are hoping to boost the turnout this year include the NBA, NFL, MLB, WNBA, MLS, and  NHL.

David Hare, junior digital communication major, was unaware of this type of voting setting. “I did not know that this existed, but I could see it being beneficial for people because they will be able to socially distance themselves,” Hare said. Hare believes people will take advantage of the situation. With that said, he believes it might take awhile to get your vote in. “I think it will take a lot longer than others think, but I could see a decent amount of people taking advantage of this,” Hare said. 

NBA

Photo of Oracle Arena. Photo by the NBA

The Golden State Warriors outside area surrounding the Chase Center is being used as just a ballot drop-off location. Simultaneously, the Kaiser Permanente Arena and Warriors’ Oakland Facility will both be used as polling sites and ballot drop-off locations. The three locations are being opened from Oct. 31- Nov. 3. 

The Staple Center, home of the Los Angeles Lakers, will open Oct. 30 to Nov. 3, for an in-person voting site. Not only will it be used for an in-person voting site, but it will also be serving as a vote-by-mail drop box location.

NFL

Home of the Super Bowl champion, Chiefs’ Arrowhead Stadium, will be used as an Election Day polling place for the residents living around Kansas City in Jackson County. 

Photo of Arrowhead stadium. Photo by Flickr

“You can have different opinions. You can vote for different people. But vote,” Mark Donovan, Chiefs president, said.

Carolina Panthers announced on National Voter Registration Day that they are using the Bank of America stadium as a polling site. They opened on Oct. 15 for early voting and will be open until Oct. 30. 

Jafet Velez, junior criminology major, was unaware of stadiums being the setting of voting. “I’ve never heard of anything like that; I’m not sure how that will work,” Velez said. Velez agreed that this will lead to more people coming out to vote. “It’s a different kind of environment and I think a lot of people will come out, it’s better than mailing in a ballot,” Velez said. 

Michael Lelli, junior business management major, was aware that stadiums were opening for this purpose. “I did know about this, and I think it’s a smart idea to try and make people feel more safe,” Lelli said. Lelli, like Velez and Hare, believes this will initiate many people to leave their home and utilize this opportunity. “I think there will be a lot of people who will come out and vote this year,” Lelli said.

As of Oct. 23, there are approximately 50 million voters who have voted already.

America Lopez-Santiago

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