DC residents will be getting a large new polling place this fall.
Capital One Arena announced on Thursday morning that it will be open for DC residents to vote for the 2020 presidential election. Not only will the arena be open on Election Day (Tuesday, November 3, 2020, from 7 AM to 8 PM) but it will also be available for Early Voting from Tuesday, October 27, through Monday, November 2, from 8:30 AM to 7 PM.
Announcing @CapitalOneArena as a Voting Center!
Partnering with @Vote4DC, the arena will be an Early Vote/Election Day Super Center for all DC residents to register, vote or drop mail-in ballots.
— Monumental Sports & Entertainment (@MSE) September 10, 2020
The decision to open Cap One as a polling place comes months after George Floyd lost his life due to police brutality. Black Lives Matter protests erupted across the country while emotional conversations about racial inequality and systemic racism were had.
The Wizards and Mystics led a Together We Stand march that began at Capital One Arena and ended at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. During that day, Bradley Beal shared a harrowing story about being pulled over on 495 by police.
“I got pulled over on 495 and the officer asked me to step out of the vehicle,” Beal said. “We’re literally on the side of the highway – my wife, me and one of my friends. He comes up to me and says, ‘What if I f*ck up your Monday and put you on a headlock and arrest you right now?’ I didn’t do anything, but because I was a black athlete driving a nice vehicle, that’s what he came up with. How am I supposed to respond to that?”
MSE majority owner Ted Leonsis shared an emotional and honest blog post in support or change.
“This has been an incredibly emotional and painful week,” Leonsis said. “I’ve spent most of it talking to as many people as I can to get first-hand, honest input about the black experience, while also doing my best to demonstrate compassion during what has truly been a horrifying experience. Our players have perfectly captured the outrage, anger, and sorrow that we all feel after the latest racially charged atrocities that include the despicable murders of unarmed, innocent black Americans like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. In no uncertain terms, it is important that you know that our company, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, and the Leonsis family stand against racism, prejudice, discrimination, and police brutality. We stand with you in our demands for justice because Black Lives Matter!”
Leonsis added that “we are all learning that what we have done to date is not nearly enough” and “I believe the impact will be long-lasting, just like the newly named Black Lives Matter Plaza located nearby The White House.”
After Jacob Blake was shot in the back by police in front of his children in August, every major sports league shut down games in protest, including the NHL.
Twenty-one NBA arenas across the country now have made a commitment to be open for the upcoming election, including in battleground states of Florida, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, and Wisconsin.
Bradley Beal shared his excitement for the announcement on Twitter.
DC, Capital One Arena will be used as a Super Center polling site!!!
Cast early ballots Oct 27-Nov 4 https://t.co/2oSTg3iK3l
— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) September 10, 2020
To each and every one of you who read RMNB, please vote. Get involved. Democracy isn’t a spectator sport.
Monumental Sports & Entertainment Partners with DC Board of Elections on its “Vote Safe DC” Campaign Opening Capital One Arena as an Early Vote Location and Election Day Vote Super Center for All Voters in the District of Columbia
Centrally located in the Downtown Business District, accessible by multiple Metro rail and bus routes, the arena offers a safe, socially distant spacing option for voters to register in-person, cast their ballot or securely drop-off mail-in ballots
Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) today provided additional details on its partnership with DC Board of Elections for use of Capital One Arena, 601 F Street, NW, in Washington D.C., as a voting center for this fall’s election. Joining in the announcement was MSE’s eponymous arena partner, Capital One Financial Corporation. Any eligible voter residing within the District of Columbia will be able to cast their precinct-specific ballot at the arena. As part of its comprehensive effort to increase civic engagement, MSE is committed to make voting safe, easy, and accessible for all Washingtonians.
“Every individual plays a crucial role in determining the policies our elected leaders pursue on behalf of our community – and that is demonstrated through the act of voting,” said Ted Leonsis, Founder and CEO, Monumental Sports & Entertainment. “Inherent to our mission at Monumental Sports & Entertainment is to serve as a community unifier and we believe increased civic engagement will lead to deeper understanding of the challenges, opportunities and solutions we can all work on together.”
Following the days and hours set by the District of Columbia Board of Elections (DCBOE), Capital One Arena will be open for Early Voting, which runs Tuesday, October 27, 2020 – Monday, November 2, 2020. The hours for Early Voting are 8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. On Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, 2020, Capital One Arena will be open from 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
DCBOE will be setting up voting stations within the arena concourse to check in voters, accept paper ballots, and provide touch-screen electronic ballots. The District of Columbia allows for same-day registration with proof of residency (learn more here). Any eligible District resident who has not previously registered or may have recently moved to or within the District (and my therefore be assigned to a new precinct) may register in-person and will be able to cast their ballot.
DCBOE will also be mailing out ballots to all registered voters in the District, which should be mailed back in to the DCBOE to be counted. For voters who wish to drop-off their ballots instead of mailing it back, there will be secure “Drop, Don’t Stop” drop-off boxes located at Capital One Arena – accessible during the voting days and hours listed above for Early Vote and Election Day.
“The MSE/DCBOE Partnership on behalf of the DC registered voters is as exciting as it is important,” said Michael Bennett, Chair of the Board of Elections. “Our constant mission is creating the best opportunity for voter participation. Use of the Capital One Arena takes that mission to a higher level. Thanks to Ted Leonis, Monica Dixon, and all of the support of the staff at MSE for making this possible.”
To access the arena, voters will be directed to enter at the corner of 6th and F Street NW, at the doors marked “Capital One Cardholder Entrance.” Capital One Arena is easily accessible by Metro and there are multiple options for street and paid garage parking nearby.
MSE is enlisting its own staff to serve as poll workers at Capital One Arena. Anyone interested in serving as a poll worker must complete a four-hour training session hosted at the DC BOE offices (1015 Half Street, SE, Washington, D.C.) prior to being assigned as an election day worker. BOE poll workers are paid a stipend of $250.00.
“Now more than ever, we all have a responsibility to ensure each and every voice is heard and accounted for in our upcoming election,” said Andy Navarrete, Capital One’s Executive Vice President of External Affairs. “We are honored by the opportunity to make the electoral process more accessible for voters in Washington D.C. As an organization, we believe nothing is more powerful than the progress which comes from our freedom to express ideas, exercise discourse, and choose our own leadership to guide our communities and this great nation forward.”
DCBOE’s “Vote Safe DC” campaign is an unprecedented effort in size and scope for this year’s election. In light of mail-in-ballot challenges with the U.S Postal Service, DCBOE has proactively mailed every registered District voter their General Election Ballot. Further ballots and voting information will be distributed in the perennial voter guide which will be mailed the week of October 1st to all District households.
From ballot drop off boxes, to vote centers, in-person voting and the mailing of ballots, there are many ways to participate safely and securely in the November 2020 General Election. DCBOE will train and equip community stakeholders, including youth, local leaders, elected officials, civic associations, and non-profit organizations with toolkits and resources to share with their networks and community members.
The “Vote Safe DC” campaign will feature robust street teams to mobilize voters in hard hit areas of the District as a result of both COVID-19 mail delays and delivery challenges. DCBOE intends to engage and activate dozens of non-profit organizations to encourage District voters to take all necessary precautions and steps to devise a “personalized vote plan” for how they will return their ballot to the DCBOE promptly and safely upon receiving it. DCBOE will also have street teams throughout the District to spread the word about voting and provide critical voter registration access to vulnerable communities. In addition, DCBOE will host virtual roundtables and meetings to inform community groups of early voting measures: coordinating closely with members of the DC Council, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners, and community/civic organizations.
For more information, visit: https://www.dcboe.org/
The District of Columbia Board of Elections is an independent agency of the District government responsible for the administration of elections, ballot access and voter registration.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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