NBA star and Los Angeles Lakers player LeBron James is aiming to recruit volunteers to help at polls in Black electoral districts within cities like Houston and San Antonio through his voting rights organization More Than A Vote.
LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers catches his breath during first-half NBA action against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018.
More Than A Vote, a collective of athletes headlined by James, has already recruited 10,000 volunteers for “We Got Next,” a collaboration with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
The organization told The New York Times that the next push of volunteers will be in 11 cities where “significant poll worker shortages remain.” The cities include San Antonio and Houston. The other cities are Birmingham, Alabama; Jackson, Mississippi; Montgomery, Alabama; Charlotte, North Carolina; Cleveland, Detroit, Flint, Michigan; Milwaukee and Philadelphia.
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According to several reports, election officials throughout the country have cited a shortage of poll workers as a major problem for November’s election. CNN reported many states are facing a shortage due to older volunteers at higher risk for the coronavirus canceling their plans to work.
According to the organization’s website, it is calling on young, healthy volunteers to work at polling stations so older, more vulnerable poll workers do not have to put themselves at risk. To register for volunteer opportunities, click here.
More Than A Vote was formed in June after demonstrations over the deaths of George Floyd , Breonna Taylor and several other Black people during encounters with police. The organization focuses on systemic, targeted voter suppression in Black communities, and has a specific mission: educate, energize and protect Black voters, its website stated.
“There are a lot of people who grew up in the inner city who are afraid to vote,” James told reporters from the NBA bubble in Orlando in August. “We’re giving everyone the tools, outlets.”
Priscilla Aguirre is a general assignment reporter for MySA.com | [email protected] | @CillaAguirre