Michigan Partners with NBA to Help Provide Election Support

In this Tuesday, May 5, 2020 file photo, a voter fills out an absentee ballot at City Hall in Garden City, Mich., as about 50 Michigan communities participate in largely mail-based local elections.

In this Tuesday, May 5, 2020 file photo, a voter fills out an absentee ballot at City Hall in Garden City, Mich., as about 50 Michigan communities participate in largely mail-based local elections. AP Photo/Paul Sancya

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

As states prepare for increased voter turnout in November, they are pursuing new partnerships and poll worker recruitment efforts to get ready.

The primary elections held by a number of states this spring and summer demonstrated the challenges officials will face as they seek to increase mail-in voting, while still offering voters an opportunity to go to the polls.

But secretaries of state across the country say they are pushing ahead with new initiatives in anticipation of high voter turnout. That includes partnering with professional sports teams to turn empty arenas into large capacity voting centers on Election Day.

In Michigan, the Detroit Pistons have partnered with the Secretary of State’s Office to turn the team’s practice facility into a satellite voting center for the November general election.

But the partnership provides more than just a location for in-person voting, said Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson on a recent conference call hosted by the National Association of Secretaries of State. It will also provide a way to recruit poll workers and educate voters about the elections. 

“These partnerships are between the teams, their assets, their athletes and election officials at the state and local level,” she said. “This isn’t a non-profit or organization with other agendas. This is simply a really pure partnership that furthers the needs as defined by the local election administrator.”

As part of the Pistons partnership, the team will give employees the day off for both Tuesday’s primary election and Nov. 3 to encourage the staff members  to help out at polling centers. It’s become difficult for many local elections offices to recruit enough poll workers amid the coronavirus pandemic.  More than half of poll workers nationwide are older people and at risk for complications from Covid-19.

The Pistons have also recorded a number of public service announcements about the upcoming elections to educate voters about how to cast ballots by mail.  

A smattering of primary elections held earlier this year exposed the pressure points in state and local elections systems. Many states sought to increase their absentee voting capacity but still struggled to keep up with demand for mail-in ballots. At the same time, many voters showed up at the polls and ended up standing in long lines before getting to vote.

Even as both Republican and Democratic local election leaders have focused on increasing voters’ use of mail-in ballots, President Trump this week ramped up his criticism of voting by mail. He stated—incorrectly—that universal mail voting is “fraudulent,” even suggesting on Twitter that the Nov. 3 election could be delayed. That tweet was quickly criticized by both Republicans and Democrats, who have emphasized that the election will happen as scheduled and there is no mechanism to put it off except action by Congress

State officials have focused on expanding mail voting with the expectation that coronavirus will remain a big enough concern in the fall that it will deter many people from voting in person. Connecticut became the latest state to expand mail-in voting options, as lawmakers voted this week to allow no-excuse absentee ballot voting as a public health precaution.

Even with expanded absentee voting in place for primary elections, states are still troubleshooting how to ensure in-person voting is accessible and lines don’t grow too long at polling places. 

To help with poll worker recruitment efforts, the Ohio secretary of state created a program that gives practicing attorneys four hours of continuing legal education credits if they work a full shift at the polls on Election Day.

In Nebraska, the state launched a media campaign to recruit a new pool of poll workers. Various associations, ranging from public accountants to realtors, responded to set up poll worker training for their members, said Robert Evnen, Nebraska’s Secretary of State on the NASS call. 

As a result of the extra recruitment efforts and training, he said the state’s polling places were well-staffed during the May primary.

“We now have a whole new generation of poll workers,” he said. “A lot of those people, I expect, will be back in November.”

Andrea Noble is a staff correspondent with Route Fifty.

FEATURED CASE STUDIES
Powered By The Atlas
St. Louis Uses Interactive Kiosks as a Critical COVID-19 Communications Platform
St. Louis, MO, USA
Corpus Christi Deploys COVID Management System to Improve Data & Eliminate Time-Consuming Tasks
Corpus Christi, TX, USA
Safer Holiday Celebrations Connect Residents and Support Local Business in Franklin, TN
Franklin, TN, USA

NEXT STORY: Advocates Rally to Tear Down Highways That Bulldozed Black Neighborhoods

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.