CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For the first time in its history, Spectrum Center, home of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, will serve as an early voting site in the upcoming 2020 elections.
The Spectrum Center was one of 11 new early voting sites approved Tuesday night by the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections. The North Carolina State Board of Elections will officially approve each county’s polling locations in August.
The total number of early voting sites is now 33, up from 22 during the last election four years ago, according to Michael Dickerson, Director of Elections for Mecklenburg County.
“This is the first time we’ve ever had this much coverage throughout the county,” he said.
Other new early voting sites include Bank of America Stadium, Bojangles Coliseum, and several middle and high schools, which are now empty as students move toward remote learning.
Dickerson says some of the new polling sites are in neighborhoods that have previously never had a polling location, including new sites in west Charlotte, south Charlotte and the University area.
“We even put two voting sites down in Steele Creek, never happened before, we had only had the one,” he said.
Also new this election season — extended hours. Voting hours will now be 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on weekdays, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
“We’re going to give you options,” Dickerson said.
Voters also can utilize absentee ballots or vote by mail.
In South Carolina, officials approved prepaid postage for all mailed absentee ballots. Elections officials are currently asking legislators to open absentee voting to all.
In North Carolina, anyone can vote by mail.
“If you’re concerned, if you’re in any way shape or form concerned about voting in-person ask for that absentee ballot now,” Dickerson said.
In a press release, Hornets President & Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield said, “We are thrilled to host early voting at Spectrum Center, which provides a unique venue with significant space, as well as an opportunity for our HSE team members to volunteer and assist at the polls.”
Spectrum Center will host early voting for the 2020 elections from October 15 – 31. Additional details, including free parking locations, will be released in the future.
Dickerson says the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections is also hiring paid positions. He says anyone interested should call, (704) 336-2133.
Here’s a list of early voting locations in Mecklenburg County:
- Bank of America Stadium
- Spectrum Center
- Bojangles Coliseum
- Cornelius Town Hall
- Hough High School
- North County Library
- North Mecklenburg High School
- Butler High School
- Matthews area, to be determined
- Garinger High School
- Bette Rae Thomas Rec Center
- West Boulevard Library
- Renaissance West STEAM Academy
- Providence High School
- Southwest Middle School
- Former Fox & Hound, Ballantyne Area
- Myers Park High School
- Scaleybark area, to be determined
- South Mecklenburg High School
- SouthPark area, to be determined
- East Mecklenburg High School
- Mountain Island Lake Library
- Hickory Grove area, to be determined
- Beatties Ford Library
- West Charlotte High School
- Hornet's Nest Park
- Former Rite Aid, Carmel area
- Independence High School
- The University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) Belk Gymnasium
- Old Pier One, University area
- Mallard Creek High School
- Olympic High School
- Ardrey Kell High School
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