PHOENIX – Nearly eight months ago, 17,125 hockey fans filled the seats of Gila River Arena to watch the Arizona Coyotes in their final home game of the season before a league-wide shutdown due to COVID-19 concerns.
On Wednesday, the Coyotes and the community returned to Gila River Arena not to watch a hockey game, but to do their civic duty.
“We’d love to have them be here to enjoy a game and cheer on our Coyotes on the ice, but today is as equally as important with early voting,” Coyotes President and CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez said.
The Arizona Coyotes and the City of Glendale announced their partnership with the Maricopa County Elections Department on September 4 to provide Gila River Arena as a voting center. Voters began casting and dropping off their ballots at 9 a.m. Wednesday. Nearly 100 people voted in the first two hours.
More than 69 million Americans have turned in their mail-in or in-person ballots for the November 3 presidential election, according to U.S.
data released Tuesday afternoon.
As of Wednesday morning, Maricopa County had received 1.126 million early ballots, according to the Maricopa County Elections Department. The county has already surpassed the early voting total from the 2016 General Election.
“Maricopa voters like to vote early and this election has been no exception,” Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes said in a statement. “We are seeing a record number of early ballots returned.”