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Sports Atlanta Hawks and Falcons team up to open early voting site for key Georgia runoff

00:00  24 november  2020
00:00  24 november  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

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The Atlanta Hawks have committed their arena as an early voting site for Georgia 's upcoming elections. The basketball team has also challenged other NBA franchises to become civically involved ahead of the November election. In a press conference Monday, leadership from the Hawks and

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Turning the Atlanta Hawks’ arena into an early voting site for the Nov. 3 general election was so well-received by voters, the organization is doing it again from Dec. 14-19 for the key runoff elections in Georgia that will determine both of the state’s seats in the U.S. Senate.

Because the NBA season is starting on Dec. 22, the Hawks have teamed up with the Atlanta Falcons to move early voting to Mercedes-Benz Stadium next door for the final seven days that voters can cast early ballots from Dec. 22-30 (excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) prior to the Jan. 5 election.

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Voters in Georgia faced hours-long lines on Monday as people flocked to the polls for the first day of early voting in the state, which has developed a The issue halted voting for a while at State Farm Arena, in Atlanta . Voters who cast their ballots at the basketball stadium, which was being used as

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a person sitting at a table in a dark room: Election workers count ballots at State Farm Arena on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Atlanta. © Brynn Anderson, AP Election workers count ballots at State Farm Arena on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Atlanta.

Out of 524,659 votes cast for president in Fulton County, the state’s largest, more than 40,000 came through State Farm Arena. In the state of Georgia, early votes can be cast at any location in the county where the voter is registered.

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The Hawks making their facility available contributed to a significant boost in voter turnout during the general election, with roughly 851,000 more votes cast in the state than in the 2016 presidential election.

President-elect Joe Biden won Georgia’s 16 electoral votes by 12,670 over President Trump.

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Atlanta news, sports, Atlanta weather, entertainment, business and political news from The Atlanta Journal Constitution - What's really going on in Atlanta . News. Team Ezra: Car show to benefit 4-year-old battling brain tumor. Gwinnett approves early voting schedule for January runoff . Local News. Moves Hawks make after draft more important than player they pick. Atlanta Falcons .

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“We are proud of the experience that we’ve been able to offer Fulton County voters in these important elections,” Hawks CEO Steve Koonin said in a release. “Voting is an important civic duty and as a business that represents this city, it has been a pleasure to give back in such an incredibly meaningful way.”

Under Georgia law, elections for several offices including the U.S. Senate are determined by majority vote, meaning automatic runoffs if no candidate receives 50 percent. Georgia is in the unique position of having two Senate runoffs this year. For the regular six-year term, Republican incumbent David Perdue fell just short of the 50 percent threshold on Nov. 3 and will face Democrat challenger Jon Ossoff. The other race is a special election to fill the remainder of former Sen. Jonny Isakson’s term between incumbent Kelly Loeffler, who was appointed last December, and Rev. Raphael Warnock.

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Loeffler is a co-owner of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream, and her criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement and other social justice initiatives in sports drew backlash from a large number of players in the league. Some of them showed up to a nationally televised game wearing “Vote Warnock” T-shirts in August, boosting his name recognition.

Both Republicans and Democrats will be intensely focused on the state of Georgia until Jan. 5, as control over the Senate hangs in the balance. Republicans have a 50-48 edge pending the outcome of those two races.

An analysis by USA TODAY Sports showed that more than 298,000 people nationwide cast ballots at sports venues during this election cycle, an idea that the Hawks were the first to put forward. Now they’ll have a chance to do it again, and include their neighbors in the NFL.

“Voter awareness and active participation have long been priorities for our organization, and we are thrilled to be able to offer our support and services to Georgia voters,” said Steve Cannon, the CEO of AMB Sports and Entertainment, which is the parent company of the Falcons and Mercedes-Benz Stadium. “We are grateful to the Hawks and State Farm Arena in partnering with us and we will ensure that Fulton County voters continue to have the best voting experience possible.”

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Atlanta Hawks and Falcons team up to open early voting site for key Georgia runoff

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usr: 0
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