Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings' players encourage voter participation in this election. Photo by Shutterstock
Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings' players encourage voter participation in this election.

Democracy is a team sport:’ Detroit’s pro teams team up to help get out the vote in November.

MICHIGAN—It goes without saying, but this really is one election Michiganders can’t afford to sit out.

On the heels of what was the lowest turnout in a presidential election in 20 years in 2016, the 2020 election is on track for a massive increase in voters, if recent polls are any indication.

A Pew Research poll released in August showed that a record 83% of registered voters believe it “really matters” who wins the presidential election in November, a record number since the poll question was first posed in 2000.

To ensure that as many Detroit-area residents have the opportunity to make their decision in November, the city is enlisting the help of its biggest venues and most beloved sports teams, the Detroit Tigers, Red Wings, Lions and Pistons, to help get out the vote at Little Caesars Arena and Comerica Park.

The initiative will make Detroit the first U.S. city where all four professional sports teams are taking an active, nonpartisan role in supporting this fall’s elections, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said in a tweet earlier this month.

Let’s Play Ball

Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers, will serve as a ballot drop-off location for the county, and Little Caesars Arena, home of the Detroit Red Wings, will serve as a poll worker training facility. Both the Henry Ford Pistons Performance Center, the Detroit Pistons’ practice facility, and Ford Field, the home of the Detroit Lions, will also be used as a receiving board for ballots.

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Benson has been an advocate and adviser throughout the process.

“A lot of what I’ve been doing is really pushing teams and election administrators to think bigger about what they want to accomplish together,” Benson said according to ABC News. Benson has been working with the organization More Than a Vote to help provide more access to polling places than ever before.

“In past cycles, anytime a sports team has worked with an election administrator, it’s been, let’s do a PSA, let’s encourage people to get registered to vote. And in my first conversation with the More Than a Vote team, we talked specifically about how this cycle, we needed more.”

Meanwhile, the Tigers and Red Wings have also pledged to use their social media platforms to promote the presidential election and help encourage Michiganders to vote.

Aside from the race between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, Michigan residents will also cast their ballots for a high-profile Senate race, in addition to several other races and ballot proposals.

Benson has been working to ensure the integrity of the 2020 election in several other ways, and is grateful for the support of Detroit’s favorite teams in her quest to provide opportunities.

“Our elections are safe, secure, and accessible to every eligible citizen thanks to the thousands of committed election administrators from both parties who are working around the clock to ensure every vote is counted and every voice is heard,” Benson said in a tweet on Thursday.

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