FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — Fulton County is partnering with the Atlanta Hawks to create Georgia’s largest-ever voting precinct at State Farm Arena in downtown Atlanta starting with early voting July 20 and for the general primary runoff election August 11.
The partnership will allow tens of thousands of voters to cast their ballots for upcoming elections while maintaining Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-recommended social distancing requirements at the state-of-the-art facility. In addition, Fulton County registration & elections will conduct other elections support operations at the site, including absentee ballot processing and more.
Hawks leadership offered use of State Farm Arena to Fulton County as a venue for early voting and other elections operations as part of their commitment to serving the community. The Atlanta-Fulton County Recreation Authority, a government agency, is the owner of the property and leases the site to the Hawks organization. In addition to offering the venue, hundreds of Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena full-time and part-time employees will be trained to serve as election workers to further support the operations.
“Fulton County is grateful to the entire Atlanta Hawks organization for being an outstanding partner,” Fulton County Commission Chairman Robb Pitts said. “Tony Ressler, Steve Koonin and their organization have once again demonstrated that the Hawks are True to Atlanta.”
Ressler, principal owner, said that when the ownership group purchased the Hawks and State Farm Arena five years ago, they were clear that they felt a responsibility to make sure the organization was an important civic asset to the city of Atlanta.
”Utilizing State Farm Arena and our incredible staff to make the arena an accessible and vital polling site in an important election year is a fulfillment on that promise,” Ressler said.
In February, State Farm Arena was named the Best New Concert Venue in the United States by “Pollstar Magazine” and prior to that was honored by the International Association of Venue Managers with the 2019 Venue Excellence Award. For the second consecutive season, the Hawks finished with the NBA’s top ranking in overall in-game experience, a wide-ranging category made up of the following areas where the team rated highly: arena ushers, in-game
To provide greater accessibility to voting, the Hawks Foundation will be providing free parking to individuals accessing the venue to vote. More than 1,500 parking spots surrounding the arena will provide complimentary parking for vehicles with a voter.
MARTA CEO Jeff Parker has approved reopening the MBS / State Farm Arena / Georgia World Congress Center / CNN Center MARTA station, providing additional access.