Voting 'super centers' promise social distancing and efficiency, but prepare for lines

State and local election officials are scrambling to stand up unprecedented in-person voting 'super centers' in dozens of major U.S. cities across at least 14 states.

9/14/2020 4:50:00 PM

Use of the facilities represents an unprecedented expansion of a vote-center model that allows local residents from any precinct to cast a ballot in person at a single location.

State and local election officials are scrambling to stand up unprecedented in-person voting 'super centers' in dozens of major U.S. cities across at least 14 states.

"Those arenas, they're often the biggest, they're the most visible and they're common knowledge, if you will, to the voting public," said Amber McReynolds, CEO of the National Vote At Home Institute, a nonpartisan voter advocacy group that is co-sponsoring an effort to open more voting megaplexes nationwide.

Ginsburg's Trainer Honors Late Justice With Pushups At Capitol Hill Memorial Florida's governor clears restaurants and bars to fully open Most say wait on Ginsburg seat, while opposing packing the court

"Offering that option in a place that they understand, know that's community orientated, and then also has giant space where you can actually do adequate social distancing is frankly critical at this point," McReynolds said.The facilities, which have been designed with crowd control in mind, offer built-in efficiency for poll workers, who are in short supply in many cities because of health concerns. Many pro sports organizations have offered up their own staffs and arena workers as volunteers to run the polling locations.

ABC NewsElection officials say new voting"super centers" in dozens of major American cities will allow placement of dozens of ballot machines at ample social distance while creating convenience for citizens.Election officials say new voting"super centers" in dozens of major American cities will allow placement of dozens of ballot machines at ample social distance while creating convenience for citizens.

Last month, the MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL announced a joint campaign to boost in-person voting, in tandem with McReynolds' organization, the Elections Super Centers Project and Silver Linings Group.Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center in New York City; Ford Field and Little Caesars Arena in Detroit; Dodger Stadium and the Staples Center in Los Angeles; Gila River Arena in Phoenix; Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida; and Nationals Stadium in Washington, D.C., are among the participating venues.

MORE: Mail-in voting is hot during pandemic, but are states ready?The location of the arenas and stadiums in urban areas where public transportation and parking options are abundant is also potentially enticing to reluctant voters who might otherwise stay home, advocates said.

"It's actually good business," said Tony Ressler, owner of the Atlanta Hawks, the first professional team to open its 700,000-square-foot State Farm Arena as a voting super center for an election."Please understand: our fans -- the overwhelming majority of our fan base -- are so excited that we took this on, Democrat or Republican," Ressler told ABC News Live.

ABC NewsAtlanta Hawks owner Tony Ressler made his team the first in the NBA to open its professional sports arena as a polling location during Georgia's 2020 primary.Atlanta Hawks owner Tony Ressler made his team the first in the NBA to open its professional sports arena as a polling location during Georgia's 2020 primary.

Family demands release of evidence in Breonna Taylor's case Sen. Kaine: I fully expect Trump to challenge results when he loses The US just topped more than 7 million coronavirus cases as 23 states report rising numbers

Hundreds of voters took advantage of the State Farm Arena polling location during Georgia's primary election in June. Officials expect a significant increase in turnout starting next month for the start of early in-person voting."We're gonna move to 60 processing stations and 300 voting machines to give you a sense," said Ressler."So it's going to be a much more substantial effort, much larger, and frankly with many, many more voters. Anyone in Fulton County, any registered voter in Fulton County, will be able to come to our facility to vote."

Local election officials have been stockpiling voting equipment, signage, hand sanitizer and personal protective equipment in preparation of getting the super centers online. The first early in-person ballots of the 2020 election will be cast this week in Minnesota with other states soon to follow.

"Behind every voter we will wipe up," said Miller, who has been overseeing D.C.'s acquisition of palettes of Purell and tens of thousands of Clorox wipes for distribution to voting sites.ABC NewsInside the D.C. Board of Elections warehouse crates of voting equipment are readied for distribution to the city's first-ever voting"super centers."

Inside the D.C. Board of Elections warehouse crates of voting equipment are readied for distribution to the city's first-ever voting"super centers."ABC News Live got an inside look at Capital One Arena as election officials prepared to convert the concourse area -- just steps from center court and center ice -- into an arcade of electronic voting machines adjacent to beer counters and hot dog stands that have gone dark.

Voters will be guided in a one-directional flow, said D.C. Board of Elections chairman Michael Bennett."Once they voted, they will come further down the corridor and put their ballot in a tabulating machine, get their voter sticker and they can exit," he said.

MORE: LeBron James launching multimillion-dollar effort to recruit poll workers for NovemberUnderpinning the nationwide push toward highly accessible voting super centers has been the engagement of professional athletes from the NBA to the NFL."Our players are incredibly motivated to encourage people to use their voice and vote," said Monica Dixon, an executive with Monumental Sports, which owns the Washington Wizards, Mystics and Capitals."They have been pushing for us as a company and our employees to get engaged."

Sir David Attenborough Reaches 1M Instagram Followers In Hours, Breaking World Record Sen. Casey: Record voter turnout in PA with mail-in ballots bodes well for Biden Video Of Seattle Officer Rolling Bicycle Over Protester's Head Leads To Suspension Read more: ABC News »

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg honored at US Capitol

The late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the first woman to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol.

It’s okay as long as the votes are respected. the more people that vote in person, the more we can count votes early. we need to make sure that the votes are counted correctly. this is a very important election. it's called voting. But will our vote stay the way we voted or will they hack and change enough votes to cheat election

I have no problem standing in line to vote. Thanks! What's the importance of social distancing now? Men be gathered by the thousands protesting...don't think that's gonna really help at this moment. VOTE NOW...VOTE IN PERSON SO YOUR VOTE WILL VOUNT BY 8 PM NOVEMBER THIRD TWENTY TWENTY The problem we normally have is ppls precinct location changes, they go where they think they're supposed to go, wait in line, find out it's wrong, drive to another line, find out last person told them wrong, give up. Supercenters prevent it if you're in the right county.

Absentee ballot anxiety hits American expats voting abroad amid a pandemic and changes at the USPS'If the U.S. government was looking for one dagger in the heart of overseas voting, they found it with this,' says Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat, founder of non-partisan Overseas Vote Foundation. For satisfied customer Are you looking for a graphic designer? I am expert to design professional Logo, business card, flyer, banner, poster, Gaming overlay, etc... Please visit my gig and send me a message.... MY account link - We used absentee ballots overseas. Had no problem. They send them very early. You can only deliver them to post office. Have your ballot sent recorded delivery which means someone has to sign for it at the Election Center. Simple.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court Has Already Begun to Sabotage Absentee VotingA Green Party challenge gave the conservative majority a new way to sow chaos. I think the 'research' they did was a few hours. They were supposed to be collecting a whole lot more than that, and most people just didn't pay attention to the bill, so they didn't know how much it was. This is an absolute crime. glennkirschner2 SpeakerPelosi Sad and disgusting.

‘A huge risk’: Trump’s allies can’t sway him on mail-in votingFor a few weeks, Donald Trump’s advisers had seemingly gotten through to him — the president was finally encouraging his supporters to vote by mail, at least some of the time. On-message Trump didn’t last long What a sucker QAnon website shuts down after it's operator Jason Gelinas of New Jersey was identified as “developer & mouthpiece” for site. New Jersey state records connect QAppAnon to Gelinas’s home address, Bloomberg found. 🤣🤣🤣 Trump knew the virus was deadly and he also knows that mail-in voting is safe.

Colorado Sues USPS As States Warn Postal Service Sending Out Mail-In Voting MisinformationColorado has a filed a lawsuit against the USPS as states warned that USPS is sending out mail-in voting misinformation Even the president said this was wrong. GOP will stop at nothing to keep power Radical-Right Fascist and not the Conservative/Republicans of our parents. Disgraceful

Colorado seeks to block USPS voting mailer it says is misleadingColorado on Saturday sued the U.S. Postal Service and its postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, seeking to prevent the mailing of official notices to all Colorado residents that the state says contain false and misleading statements about voting in the November election. Too late, we already got ours in Oregon where it makes no sense! Waste of tax dollars... Dear Americans, Can't you see we're all plotted against each other so GOP TheDemocrats leaders can get a job &make money for themselves? It has never been about you! ALL wars started by a few &fought by the masses. It's no different now! We MUST turn things around, start over!

Twitter And Facebook Flag Trump's Mail-In Voting Post for Platform ViolationsFacebook's note under the president's post encouraging Americans to vote by mail early — and then go to the polls to check it was counted — reads: 'Voting by mail has a long history of trustworthiness in the U.S. and the same is predicted this year.' You should be able to check online if your ballot was received. At least, that’s how it works in WA State! Trump is a criminal unfortunately.