People line up for commencement

Friends and relatives of the 2016 Hickman senior class form a line in May 2016 outside Mizzou Arena as they wait to enter the building. Mizzou Arena will be used as a polling place in the Nov. 3 election, MU Athletics and the Boone County Clerk’s office announced Wednesday.

MU Athletics and the Boone County Clerk’s office announced Wednesday afternoon that Mizzou Arena will be used as a polling location for the 2020 election. It will be one of the largest voting centers in the state of Missouri.

The arena will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 3. In accordance with campus health and safety policies, social distancing and face masks will be required.

Missouri is working with the SEC Council on Racial Equity and Social Justice, which includes MU men’s basketball coach Cuonzo Martin and five MU student-athletes, to help launch the SEC’s Voter Education Participation Program. MU Athletics announced its action plan Sept. 3. The plan includes giving student-athletes time to check their voter registration and encouraging coaches to give student-athletes the day off on Election Day. By the end of Wednesday, the NCAA made it a rule that athletes get Election Day off.

According to previous Missourian reporting, after a June 3 march in protest of the killing of George Floyd that was attended by a number of MU officials, coaches and players, more than 50 student-athletes registered to vote.

The Missouri men’s basketball team released a statement from Martin on its Twitter page after Wednesday’s announcement. The team also released a video featuring Mitchell Smith and Dru Smith, who said it’s their mission to have the entire team registered to vote ahead of Election Day.

“It’s vital that we ensure everyone has the ability to exercise their right to vote,” Martin said. “We’re thankful to be able to open the doors of our home and commit to making sure the Columbia community has that opportunity.”

Hearnes Center had also been considered as a polling place, but it was not chosen.

Boone County’s in-person voter registration deadline is Oct. 7. You can find your polling place at showmeboone.com/clerk/notices/polling-locations.pdf.

  • Sports reporter, fall 2020 Studying print & digital sports journalism Reach me at emily.leiker15@gmail.com, or in the newsroom at 882-5720

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