LeBron James continues to doing the good Lord’s work for communities in Ohio, this time to get Clevland locals registered to vote ahead of the November presidential election.
Raw Story reports James’ voting rights group, More Than a Vote, in partnership with the NBA, the government, and civic groups, held a non-partisan voter registration drive that helped registered more than 700 people via in-person or online at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The sports facility will also serve as a polling location on November 3.
More Than a Vote is heavy on the mission to register as many citizens in underserved areas as possible to fight voter suppression efforts by converting sports venues into spacious voting locations and addressing staffing shortages across the country.
In a lengthy open letter to fans, the advocacy group pledged to help Black communities reach voting booths by beating GOP opposition efforts currently plaguing the underserved communities from voting.
In Georgia, locals waited on long lines to vote in understaffed facilities with broken voting machines. “One in 13 Black Americans can’t vote due to disenfranchisement laws,” the letter states. “Seventy percent of Georgia voters purged in 2018 were Black. Eighty percent of registrants blocked by Georgia’s strict “exact match” law were people of color.” More Than a Vote works to register as many citizens in underserved areas as possible by converting sports venues into spacious voting locations and addressing staffing shortages across the country.
Similarly, ex-felons in Florida are forced to pay a poll tax before participating in the upcoming election. To work around that, More Than A Vote partnered with Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, and billionaire Michael Bloomberg to raise over $20 million to pay off the outstanding debts of 32,000 felons.
COVID rates in Black communities are overwhelmingly higher than in any other group. “In counties where Black people are the majority, death rates are 3.5 times higher than the national average,” the letter explains. “Our voting locations must offer safe, socially distanced voting.” As a solution, More Than A Vote works to convert sporting facilities in underserved areas into spacious voting hubs whenever they are not in use.
Another form of voter suppression is the spreading of misinformation to Black voters. Efforts are in motion to confuse and intimidate hopeful voters by making them feel their vote doesn’t count. The letter encourages people to “share information that will educate, energize and protect Black voters.” By using influence and social media, voters can “share accurate information about how to vote and where to vote safely.”
The More Than A Vote team includes an impressive roster of celebrities spanning across various entertainment verticals, including WNBA star Brittany Grinder, NBA star Draymond Green, singer Toni Braxon, comedian Kevin Hart, and NFL player Michael Vick who all promise to make the voting experience easier on disenfranchised Americans. “We are Black athletes and artists working together. Our priority right now is combating systemic, racist voter suppression by educating, energizing, and protecting our community in 2020.”