LeBron James is at the centre of a new multi-million dollar effort to recruit poll workers ahead of the US general elections in November.
The initiative is focusing on recruiting poll workers in Black electoral districts by using a paid advertising campaign and a corporate partnership programme encouraging employees to volunteer, The New York Times has reported.
James, alongside NFL quarterback Patrick Mahomes and NBA player Damian Lillard, is part of the More Than a Vote organisation, whose aim is to tackle the systemic, racist suppression of black voters.
“We are a coalition of Black athletes and artists who came together amid the protests fueled by the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor by police,” read an open letter by the organisation.
“We are focused on systemic, targeted voter suppression in our community and have a specific mission: educate, energize and protect Black voters.”
The organisation is partnered with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, When We All Vote, Fair Fight and the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition.
Polling locations across the US could face a worker shortage amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Shortages in poll workers were reported in Georgia and Kentucky during their primaries earlier this year.
More Than A Vote, which is calling on young volunteers to help out so that older, more vulnerable poll workers don’t need to put themselves at risk, is also working with sports teams to transform grounds into polling locations.
The organisation’s letter added that Atlanta, Detroit, Charlotte and Sacramento have already committed to serving as polling locations.
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