By Dorothy J. Gentry
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Airlines Center has seen very little activity, including sporting events and concerts
It will soon be buzzing once again as the home of the Dallas Mavericks and the Dallas Stars will open its door and serve as the largest polling place in Dallas County for early voting (October 13-October 30) and on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
“Every voice matters,” said Mavs owner Mark Cuban. “Every citizen has the fundamental right to vote in the election and we are doing our part by offering up the largest polling place in the county. We encourage everyone to vote early starting October 13.”
According to Dave Brown, AAC General Manager and COO, the large facility will help meet the demand for early voting. They will also offer free parking at Lexus Parking Garage, directly across from the AAC. The facility complies with the Covid guidelines put forth by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Dallas County Elections Health Protocols can be found here.
“We are proud to partner with the Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Stars and Dallas County to transform American Airlines Center into the largest polling location for Dallas County residents,” Brown said. “Our team is eager and committed to providing a safe and accessible in-person voting experience for the community.”
In 2016, 14 percent of eligible voters noted transportation as a barrier to voting. On Election Day, Uber will help people find their polling location within the Uber app and offer discounted rides to and from the polls. Visit Uber.com for more information.
For the 2020 General Election, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) will once again provide complimentary transit services system-wide. In addition, DART will be providing complimentary service on the two Saturdays during Early Voting, October 17 and October 24. DART provides direct access for riders to Victory Station via the Green Line, Orange Line and Trinity Railway Express (TRE). Visit DART.org/vote for additional details.
“The Dallas Stars are pleased to join the efforts of the Mavericks and American Airlines Center in opening the arena as a polling site for the upcoming general election,” Stars President and CEO Brad Alberts said. “By turning one of the greatest arenas in the world into the largest voting location in the City of Dallas, we are able to provide a safe environment for our citizens to cast their ballots.”
Because of the arena’s size and central location, American Airlines Center and County staff are calling on all volunteers, both English and Spanish speakers, to work the polls for both early voting and election day. To register to become an early voting officer or election day worker, visit https://www.dallascountyvotes.org/training-and-education/become-a-poll-worker/.
Election Day workers should be available to work a minimum of 12 hours on Election Day. Early Voting workers should be available to work for approximately two weeks, including the weekend. Shifts typically will not exceed 40 hours per week.
Important dates and resources for voters are listed below. For a complete voting guide for Dallas County, visit https://www.dallascountyvotes.org/.