Voting groups support Coyotes, Gila River Arena decision for additional voting center

Voting groups support Coyotes, Gila River Arena decision for additional voting center
Although it’s usually used to house the Arizona Coyotes, Gila River Arena will be used as a voting center for the 2020 General Election. (Source: Brady Klain/The Republic)

PHOENIX – The Arizona Coyotes and the city of Glendale announced Friday, Sept. 4, that Gila River Arena will be used as a voting center for the 2020 General Election from Oct. 28 to Nov. 3.

Emily Kirkland, the executive director of Progress Now Arizona Institute, a One Arizona member organization, applauded the announcement.

“It’s great to see more options being added,” Kirkland said, “It’s a reminder that voters will have the ability to go safely in-person early and on Election Day, in addition to the option of voting by mail. Voters have lots of choices this election and we just need to make sure that people know what their options are.”

Coyotes President and CEO Xavier Gutierrez credited the work of the city of Glendale and the Maricopa County Elections Department for creating the partnership.

“Voting is our civic duty and with the ongoing pandemic, we want to do everything we can to create a safe and secure environment for Valley residents to exercise their right to vote,” Gutierrez said in a statement. “We encourage all voters to visit Gila River Arena this fall to make their voices heard.”

Gila River Arena will offer Arizona residents a safe location for both early ballot drop-offs and in-person voting. Voters can expect physical distancing and safety protocols in alignment with CDC guidelines in collaboration with the Maricopa County Department of Public Health.

“I am proud of the tremendous impact the partnership between the Arizona Coyotes and the City of Glendale continues to have in the community,” Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers said in a statement. “Opening Gila River Arena as a voting location for the upcoming general election just makes sense. It’s easy to access since it’s just off the Loop 101, has plenty of free parking, and affords voters a location that is safe and can ensure physical distancing guidelines are followed.”

In addition to Gila River Arena, it was announced earlier this week that the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury are partnering with the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum as an alternate voting center.

“Robert Sarver and the players, backed by the Suns and Mercury organization, believe that the power of voting is critical for citizens to achieve the future they want,” the organization said in a statement on Wednesday.

An exact location and dates have yet to be determined for early ballots acceptance at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Talking Stick Resort Arena in downtown Phoenix is not a viable option as a voting center due to the transformation project underway, according to the statement.

The Arizona Diamondbacks and Arizona Cardinals could not be reached for comment on this story.

Arizona voters can find out more information by visiting BeBallotReady.Vote.

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