LeBron James recruits 10,000 poll volunteers to assist in Black districts
NBA star LeBron James has reportedly recruited 10,000 volunteers to help at polls in Black electoral districts in November.
The Los Angeles Lakers forward announced last month that his voting rights organization More Than A Vote would work on drafting volunteers in southern battleground states.
The effort has amassed 10,000 volunteers for “We Got Next,” a collaboration with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
The collaboration will be highlighted during the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the Lakers.
More Than a Vote told the Times the second phase of the group’s push would be aimed at 11 cities “where significant poll worker shortages remain” amid the coronavirus pandemic, including southern Black voter hubs such as Birmingham, Ala.; Jackson, Miss.; Houston and San Antonio.
The group volunteer support is also still needed in cities including Cleveland, Detroit and Philadelphia.
Officials have raised concerns about a shortage of poll workers ahead of Election Day.
The lack of poll volunteers is even more severe in Black communities, which historically have experienced longer wait times on voting days and fewer polling locations than areas with predominately white voters.
Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund said increasing the number of poll workers is critical to fighting attempts at voter suppression, underscoring its impact on establishing trust among Black voters.
“We need more poll workers, and we need younger poll workers who can be resilient and work during early voting as well,” Ifill said.
The Hill has reached out to More Than a Vote for further comment.