The Oklahoma City Thunder announced a new initiative to help promote voting in Oklahoma.
Thunder Vote is a new campaign to ensure all eligible Oklahomans have access to voting resources.
The program will help citizens register to vote, educate themselves on candidates and issues, and then cast their ballots via in-person or early and mail-in absentee voting, according to the news release sent Tuesday.
The Thunder will hold voter registration drives inside Chesapeake Energy Arena every Saturday from Sept.12 - Oct. 4, leading up to the Oct. 9 deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 3 general election.
"Voting is an absolute cornerstone of our democracy and the Thunder is proud to help spread the message of the importance of registering and voting," said Christine Berney, Thunder vice president of Community Relations. "Thunder Vote provides citizens with information and resources to help them be fully registered and educated voters. This is a non-partisan initiative to ensure that all eligible citizens in our community have the access and support they need to register, vote and have their voices heard in all federal, state and local elections. This has become a permanent priority of the Thunder organization."
The program is a development of the NBA’s agreement with players to prioritize social reform. Thunder Vote is to help Oklahomans vote easily and safely.
Key provisions of Thunder Vote are included below:
- Opening Chesapeake Energy Arena for voter registration drives every Saturday from Sept. 12-Oct. 4 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., in advance of the Oct. 9 registration deadline. These events will include free public access to computers, printers, postage and other registration and voting resources.
- Offering the Thunder corporate offices as a location to pick up voter registration forms and other voting information, Monday - Friday during regular business hours beginning Sept. 14.
- Educating citizens about and supporting access to alternative voting methods offered under Oklahoma election laws, including early voting at county election boards in the days leading up to elections and absentee voting by mail.
- Information efforts on issues such as registration deadlines, sample ballots and where to find external candidate and issue information, specifically via the Oklahoma State Election Board's online OK Voter Portal.
- An emphasis on ensuring all segments of the community have equal access to voting information and resources.
- Working to educate young citizens of voting age on the importance of voting and offering them information and opportunities to register with events at schools, college campuses and other locations.
- Utilizing the reach of Thunder social media, digital and broadcast platforms to spread the vote message. During the Orlando seeding and playoff games, the Thunder has been using its TV broadcast on FOX Sports Oklahoma to provide pertinent voting information.
- Closing Thunder offices on federal and state election days, allowing staff the day to vote and take advantage of opportunities to volunteer at polling places.
- Additional emphasis on encouraging participation in the U.S. Census.