The arena in downtown Cleveland will serve as a polling location for Ward 3 residents who live in precincts I, L and Q for the Nov. 3rd election.
"During the COVID-19 pandemic when wearing masks and social distancing is a necessary precaution, the space available at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse makes it a desirable site to ensure that safety protocols can be addressed so that the public does not have to make a choice between their health, the health of their neighbors and election workers, and exercising their right to vote," the city, county, board of elections and NBA team announced in a press release this morning.
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose was among the signees on an op-ed earlier this week from More Than a Vote
, the nonprofit voting rights organization led by LeBron James and other Black athletes, that advocated for the use of professional sports facilities as in-person polling locations.
"As arenas lie dormant during the pandemic, professional sports franchises and facilities management have a unique opportunity to provide a core civic function by working in concert with local election administrators to arrange safe and easily accessible voting options for their communities by converting their arenas and team facilities into voting locations both during the early voting period and on Election Day," it read. "Arenas and other large capacity team facilities are not only conducive to social distancing, they are widely-known locations within communities and are often easily accessible via transit. In short, they provide a safe and equitable solution to a problem that is not going away before Election Day."
Atlanta, Sacramento and Detroit had already announced plans to use arenas as polling locations.
The arena will also host a voter registration drive on Tuesday, Sept. 22, open to all Cuyahoga County residents who want to register ahead of the fall election.
“This is not a partisan issue. We want to drive everyone to vote. We realize that we have an opportunity to leverage our brand strength across the Browns, Indians and Cavs with our personalities and facilities to encourage the community to vote,” Kevin Clayton, Vice President Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement for the Cleveland Cavaliers, told Cleveland.com
last month. “But it’s not just the voting location, it’s leading up to it. We have voter education, registration and early voting. The County Board of Elections has done a great job of educating all three teams on what we need to do and how we can have impact. We think it’s our civic responsibility to take a lead in this area.”