ORANGE COUNTY, Florida. – For the first time ever, voters will have the opportunity to vote for early voting at the Amway Center. Early voting begins Monday.
On Thursday afternoon, election workers with tape measures in hand set up and spaced 50 to 60 voting booths six feet apart inside the Walt Disney World Atrium at the Amway Center.
“I think there’s going to be a lot of people who want to come and vote at Amway because it’s something special, we’ve never been able to do this before,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said. “Usually the NBA season is in full swing.”
Mayor Dyer spent Thursday afternoon talking logistics with election workers who say there will only be about six staff inside, while outside they will have a socially distanced line around the building. Mayor Dyer said he thought back to images from Atlanta’s State Farm Arena earlier this week with long lines for his first day of early voting on Monday.
However, the vision to turn the Amway Center into an early voting site is a vision of Orlando Magic players and other NBA teams, who in the bubble had a players-only meeting regarding the Black Lives Matter movement. . Together, the teams wanted to open up the arenas where NBA teams play to encourage people to vote.
“You had two things converging,” added Mayor Dyer. “You had the coronavirus that forced the NBA and MLS to bubble up at Disney and then you had the Black Lives Matter movement and athletes wanting to make a difference and that’s an impact in a way that magic and the NBA are making a difference.”
Mayor Dyer added that they are making a difference in a non-partisan way.
“They don’t say vote Democrat or Republican or Green Party, they say ‘go vote’.”
News 6 spoke with Orlando Magic head coach Steve Clifford, who also explained why it matters to the players.
“I think our players – I think our whole league has shown that as a group of people we want change. We’re ready to work. We’re anxious and committed to working towards positive and lasting change. “Coach Clifford said. “We know it’s going to take a long time, it’s going to take effort from everyone and nothing is more important than voting.
Early voting in Orange County runs from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday morning through Nov. 1.
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