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NBA won’t play on Election Day in effort to encourage fans to vote

The NBA has announced that no games will be played on Election Day — November 8 — as part of a campaign to get fans to vote.

Video Transcript

DAVE BRIGGS: The NBA announcing it will not be playing games on Tuesday, November 8, election day. In a statement, the NBA says the decision, quote, "came out of the NBA's family's focus on promoting nonpartisan civic engagement and encouraging fans to make a plan to vote during midterm elections." In addition, the NBA says over the next few months, teams will distribute information on their states' voting process and voter registration deadlines.

This is a great move, Seana, for the NBA, because, as we all know, our voter turnout is despicable-- in particular, at midterms. You look back at 2020, I think 67% of the American public voted. But in midterms, there's no attention on it. So the NBA really has a platform here to focus people's attention for a day.

SEANA SMITH: Yeah, this is huge. We know that they were vocal back in 2020, obviously, an election that garners a lot more attention than what we're going to see in November with the midterms. But we know some of their biggest stars, LeBron James, for example, had been very vocal in the 2020 election, encouraging fans to get out and vote. So I think the NBA taking this stance, playing all their games that were initially scheduled for that day, they're going to be playing them the day before, it makes a lot of sense.

Hopefully it is effective. And hopefully does get more people to the voting polls. Because, like you mentioned, that participation level's so much lower than what we would hope to see.

DAVE BRIGGS: It's bleak. And in 2020, the NBA arenas really stepped as a role here-- 23 different arenas were either polling places, voting places, or drop-offs. They won't have to do that this year because we won't have that type of turnout. But that's what we'll need moving forward in '24 to, again, focus people's attention on the importance of voting. Good job-- most progressive league in sports.