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More Than a Vote is expected to announce on Wednesday that they’ve partnered with entertainment company Live Nation to convert empty concert halls and music venues into safe, socially distanced polling places for Election Day.
With concerts, comedy shows, and musical theater tours on hiatus due to COVID-19, the 110 venues across the country owned by Live Nation have been sitting unused. Now some will be transformed into spaces for citizens to safely make their choices on Election Day.
According to USA Today, Live Nation has been working with city officials around the country to set up plans for election day, which is November 3. The hope is for these venues to provide safe polling places in areas where regular polling places may be closed due to COVID-19 concerns.
"One of the things we kept hearing, because the pandemic is going on, was that a lot of smaller [polling places] would not be made available for voting," Tom See, chief operating officer of Live Nation’s U.S. venue division, told USA Today. "We said: 'Wait a second, we’ve got 100-plus large locations across the country sitting empty right now. Why not offer them up as places for people to vote?' That was the impetus — to solve a need."
Thus far Live Nation has confirmed five venues in four cities will be used as polling places. The Wiltern and Hollywood Palladium will be used in Los Angeles, the Fillmore will be used in Philadelphia, Buckhead Theatre will be used in Atlanta, and Emo’s will be used in Austin. Plans are still being made to provide polling places in other cities.
See told USA Today that he’s encouraging city governments to reach out to Live Nation to see if they can turn a Live Nation venue into a local polling place. And since there’s also a shortage of poll workers right now, Live Nation is giving their active employees paid time off on Election Day to volunteer at their local polling places.
More Than a Vote has already signed up over 20 sports arenas around the country to serve as socially distanced polling places on Election Day.
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