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NBA will not schedule games on election day this year

Voters Cast Ballots In Wyoming Primary

Voters wait in line to enter a polling location at the Storey Gym high School in Cheyenne, Wyoming, US, on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022. Liz Cheney, who has held the states sole seat in the US House since 2017, is all but certain to lose to top challenger Harriet Hageman, who leads the incumbent by almost 30 percentage points in the latest polling.Photographer: David Williams/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Bloomberg via Getty Images

It may be mostly symbolic, but it’s a strong message to send.

The NBA will not schedule games on Nov. 8, election day around the nation, this year, a story broken by NBC News. The goal is to encourage voting, including among fans.

“The scheduling decision came out of the NBA family’s focus on promoting nonpartisan civic engagement and encouraging fans to make a plan to vote during midterm elections,” the league told the Associated Press.

All 30 NBA teams will play on Nov. 7, but all teams will be off on election day, Nov. 8. This comes at a time when in many states restrictions and hurdles to voting are being increased, making it harder to cast a ballot, from reduced poll hours to forbidding people from eating or drinking while waiting in line to vote. The NBA is trying to send an inclusive message.

“We’re proud of our partners at the NBA for further deepening their commitment to civic engagement by ensuring games are not scheduled on Election Day this year,” Vote.org CEO Andrea Hailey said in a statement. “The NBA is creating a culture of political participation, which extends not only to its athletes and employees, but to fans, as well. Players, coaches, event staff and fans all deserve to have the time and space to make their voices heard at the ballot box.”

All 435 seats in the House of Representatives are up for re-election, as well as 30 senate seats, numerous gubernatorial races and key propositions in many states.

The NBA’s full schedule is set to be released on Wednesday, but we already know the games for Christmas Day, opening night and a few more. The NBA schedule traditionally takes off Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and as much as possible the night of the NCAA championship game (there are years when there is a game or two that Monday due to scheduling issues).

Some other leagues are off due to the schedule (the NFL doesn’t play on Tuesdays, and the MLB World Series will have ended. There are NHL games and a few college football games on election day.