The “More Than A Vote” Movements Impact on the Upcoming Presidential Election

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Voter suppression still exist today, especially for black voters. The “More Than A Vote” movement looks to make a change to that this upcoming presidential election.

Black voters’ ability to vote is being affected by voter registration, felony disenfranchisement, voter wait times, and photo ID. With everything going on in Black community today; LeBron James who’s joined by other high-profiled athletes and entertainers have decided to come together to create the “More Than A Vote” movement.

According to the More Than A Vote’s website, they’re focused on systemic, targeted voter suppression in their communities. The movements main goal is to educate, energize, and protect Black voters.

The movement also states that they’re not politicians or policy leaders. Nor are they trying to tell you who to vote for.

Many changes that states made to the voting process during the 2016 presidential election made it more difficult for some to vote. States like Ohio, where LeBron James is from, cut a whole week from early voting. That led to the golden week, which is when voters could register and vote on the same day, to be taken away.

“Because of everything that’s going on, people are finally starting to listen to us — we feel like we’re finally getting a foot in the door,” LeBron James said in an interview with Jonathan Martin, national political correspondent for the New York Times. “How long is up to us. We don’t know. But we feel like we’re getting some ears and some attention, and this is the time for us to finally make a difference.”

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Former NBA player Caron Butler, who is also a member of the More Than A Vote movement, did an interview with CNN broadcaster Kate Bolduan where he talks about the movements mission and how he is trying to educate people.

“It is voter suppression and we want people to stay engaged. We want to amplify the energy behind staying engaged in voting,” said Caron Butler. “I just want to inform. The minorities will be the majority in 2045. And that’s why it’s so important that we get engaged.”

Striders to get more people involved in voting have taken place in sports, specifically in the NBA. Players have be seen wearing “Vote” t-shirts during games. There are also signs around the arena that promote voting for the upcoming election.

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Only 20% of eligible NBA players voted in the last election according to Marc J. Spears, Senior NBA writer for ESPN’s The Undefeated. Now, more than 90% of the league is now registered to vote stated by National Basketball Players Association president Chris Paul.

NBA Teams have also stepped up to host voter drives and even open up their stadiums as voting stations for the election. The Houston Rockets joined by the office of Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo held a voter registration drive at the Toyota Center. Toyota Center will also be opened from Oct. 13 to Oct. 30 as an early voting hub for registered voters in Harris County.

Even after Texas shutdown 11 out 12 ballot drop off locations, the More Than A Vote movement offered people in Harris County free Lyft rides to turn in their ballots at NRG arena.

“Where do we go from here? We don’t just stop now.” said James in a press conference after game five.

All proceeds the More Than A Vote movement receives are going to be donate to the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights to help with their fight against voter suppression.

The movements slogan “Change isn’t made by watching from the sidelines” gives people the motivation to want to make a difference.

I’m a student at The University of Houston. I’m majoring in Broadcast Journalism and plan on graduating in the Fall of ’21. I have a passion for sports.