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LeBron James has started the non-profit organization More Than a Vote to stress the importance of registering and casting your ballot in November, as well as raise awareness towards voter suppression, the New York Times reports.
The New York Times reports that, on Monday, James held a conference call with Jalen Rose, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Draymond Green, Udonis Haslem, and Alvin Kamara to discuss More Than a Vote. Trae Young is also involved, and Kevin Hart is said to have committed to the cause.
James explained to the New York Times that the creation of More Than a Vote is fueled by the motivation to be remembered down the road as someone who was "more than an athlete."
"I'm inspired by the likes of Muhammad Ali, I'm inspired by the Bill Russells and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbars, the Oscar Robertsons — those guys who stood when the times were even way worse than they are today," James said. "Hopefully, someday down the line, people will recognize me not only for the way I approached the game of basketball, but the way I approached life as an African-American man."
Speaking of voting, on Tuesday, Georgia residents, particularly in counties with a majority of people of color, were forced to stay in line for hours to vote in their state’s primary elections. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms tweeted at one point that "NONE of the machines" were working at a location in Fulton County.
CNN reporter Abby D. Phillip said Georgia reports 96 percent of requested ballots were delivered, while vendors used by the state claimed to have sent out 100 percent of ballots.
Black Lives Matter co-founder LaTosha Brown revealed that some people had the police called on them as they waited until after midnight to cast their vote.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Ruffensperger said that he would launch an investigation to figure out what went wrong. "The voting situation today in certain precincts in Fulton and Dekalb counties is unacceptable," Raffensperger said in a statement, per The Hill. "My office has opened an investigation to determine what these counties need to do to resolve these issues before November's election."
However, this voting situation isn't anything new to Georgia residents. Just ask Stacey Abrams, who filed a federal lawsuit through her voting rights organization Fair Fight Action in November following her controversial loss in the election for Governor against Brian Kemp. In her suit, the Abrams-backed group wasn't disputing her defeat, but rather arguing that "the citizens and voters of Georgia deserve an election system that they can have confidence in."
"Yes, we want you to go out and vote, but we’re also going to give you the tutorial," LeBron James said of More Than a Vote to the NYT. "We're going to give you the background of how to vote and what they’re trying to do, the other side, to stop you from voting."