The Sacramento Kings are making an initiative to improve civic engagement. A few weeks after making Election Day a company holiday, the franchise announced today that it will turn the Golden 1 Center into a Vote Center for the upcoming general election in November.
What that means is that people can vote at the arena, pick up and drop off their ballots, update their registration, and receive language assistance. The Vote Center will be open from Oct. 24 through Nov. 3, which is the date of the presidential election. The facility will be completely staffed by Kings employees, there will be free parking, and there will be enough space to follow social distancing procedures.
“As elections officials work to educate the public on elections changes and to identify new voting locations and poll workers, we need partners like the Sacramento Kings,” California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said. “Having trusted community partners like the Kings amplify and facilitate civic participation is invaluable as we confront the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. This partnership shows that Sacramento Proud extends beyond the basketball court. The Kings’ leadership helps build a more inclusive democracy—this is a slam dunk for the Sacramento region and beyond.”
The Kings are the fourth NBA team to create a new polling place, following the lead of the Atlanta Hawks, the Detroit Pistons, and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Wizards offered to do the same, but were told by the city government that they had enough voting locations. Increasing access to voting was one of the causes Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce has trumpeted as a leader of the NBCA committee on social justice. It is also an issue that many players are working to address through the More Than A Vote initiative.
DaQuan Jeffries spoke Thursday about what the right to vote means to him when discussing what statement he would put on the back of his jersey.
“I chose ‘Power to the People’ because for so long in the 1800s 1900s, I mean, we didn’t even have the power to, you know, vote or buy a building in our name or get loans to buy houses or anything like that,” Jeffries said. “Right now to have the power to go out and vote and do things like that, it’s very important for us to do.”
Congrats to the Kings for recognizing that importance and giving more people in Sacramento the ability to vote.