Amalie Arena to serve as early voting location

To the Tampa Bay Lightning, there's a new way for fans to "be the thunder."

"At this important time, it is good for us to come forward and have a little bit of a voice," said Lightning spokesman Bill Wickett.

The Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections has accepted the team's offer to turn Amalie Arena's ticket office into Hillsborough County's 25th early voting location, starting October 19 through November 1.

Early voting hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

"I don't know if we are making recommendations, but we are asking people to register to vote," said Wickett. "We are asking them to either vote early or come to the polls on Election Day."

The elections supervisor says one of Tampa Bay's most prominent facilities is a perfect place to hold in-person voting.

VOTING BY MAIL: 9 states send ballots automatically, 35 allow COVID-19 as an excuse, 6 require other reason

The NBA has announced similar setups in Orlando and Atlanta.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are also providing its stadium for voting, allowing voters to feel safe from coronavirus -- a now-crucial part of exercising democracy.

"It is going to be a really open space," said Hillsborough Elections Supervisor Craig Latimer. "We will be able to do social distancing there. It is going to be a safe and healthy environment."

While much of the focus has been on mail voting thus far, this signals that officials expect significant turnout of all kinds.

Though nearly two-thirds of ballots in last month's primary were cast by mail. The elections supervisor wants to be ready for at least a third of votes to be cast early.

Amalie Arena helps them do that.

"This site is at ground level," said Latimer. "There is nothing to negotiate, no steps or anything else. You just come right off the street into this facility."

The front driveway of the arena that is ordinarily used for dropoffs and pickups for Lightning games will be used during early voting for people to drive up and drop off mail ballots.

Click here to begin the process of registering to vote., the government’s official voter information website, allows users to select their state or territory to access more detailed information about where they live — including the voter registration deadline.

You can also click here to confirm your voter registration status.