It was announced on June 29 that the Fulton County Board of Registration has voted for the approval of the use of State Farm Arena for upcoming elections in 2020. This will transform the beloved home of the Atlanta Hawks into a temporary home of Georgia’s August run-off and November’s general election. It will also go down in history as the states largest-ever voting precinct.
“Fulton County is grateful to the entire Atlanta Hawks organization for being an outstanding partner,” said Fulton County Commission Chairman Robb Pitts during a news conference on Monday. “Tony Ressler, Steve Koonin, and their organization have once again demonstrated that the Hawks are True to Atlanta.”
“I’m excited and our players are excited and we will use this opportunity to engage with our community,” Atlanta Hawks Head Coach Lloyd Pierce stated. “We want to be the model for voting and making this a reality and leading the charge to get the rest of our country voting.”
This is positive news for Georgia voters following the June 9th primaries when thousands of Atlantans were faced with suppression at the polls due to a decrease in the number of voting machines, faulty machines, and incorrect polling locations. The lack of space in traditional voting locations was not ideal for the current COVID-19 social distancing recommendations. Now, with the help of the spacious State Farm Arena, there will be plenty of room to keep a safe distance from others while exercising one’s right to vote.
“That was our No. 1 priority moving forward and we should be able to do this with ease,” Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin said. “In October, we will provide a spacious and safe and secure environment that will be good for social distancing. We will be able to stagger according to CDC regulations. We’ll keep people moving through quickly. All staff will be in masks and there will be hand sanitizers throughout the building. This is not a library. This is a giant building with great connectivity.”