It was more than likely only die-hard basketball fans recognized the person wearing a Georgia Voter t-shirt and a black mask while managing their voting line at State Farm Arena Monday.
One voter wondered “do you normally work here?” before realizing he was asking Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce.
On the first day of early voting in Georgia, Pierce wasn’t just looking for a photo op. He reported to his post at 8 a.m. and rarely moved from his spot.
“The day’s not over,” Pierce said. “Voting closes at six, I’ll be out here [until] the last voter is here.”
And he was.
Throughout the day, Pierce chatted with people in line, posed for photos with those who asked and ushered voters toward the check-in lines.
Among the hundreds of people who passed through the line, Pierce recalled two in particular.
“Probably the most touching thing was a father teaching his son how to look at a ballot for the first time,” Pierce said. “They literally stood against the wall and went through the process of what they’re looking for.”
Pierce says he devoted the day to working the polls because he wanted to do his part to make voting seamless and available.
“We’ve had many people fight for our right to vote,” he said. “It’s a privilege and an honor, and it’s our duty to uphold what so many people have fought for.”
Voters who cast ballots Monday at State Farm Arena expressed appreciation for what the Hawks have done.
“This is a great thing for the Hawks organization to do for the city and the community,” said voter James Day. “This is what civic engagement is supposed to look like.”