LeBron James found himself Friday defending his throne, which he has recently extended to not only his play on the court, but leadership on fixing our structurally racist system of casting a ballot.
James took to Twitter to fend off a misinformation campaign that started with a website called Protect My Vote, according to a The Washington Post report. The platform has been circulating ads on Facebook that paint mail-in voting as unreliable. Protect My Vote, a right-wing group that has been supported by convervative organizations like Freedomworks, made the baseless claim in direct contrast with James’ More Than a Vote initiative, founded to support Black voters in general, but also urging voters to request a mail-in ballot.
One of Protect My Vote’s now deleted June Facebook posts features a LeBron tweet in painting Kentucky gutting the number of polling places as “systemic racism.” That was in the midst of voter suppression taking place during Georgia’s June primaries.
The Facebook post intentionally flips James’ tweet suggesting that he was linking the closures to the expansion of mail-in-voting ahead of the general election.
Adam Mendelsohn, a longtime advisor to James, told The Post that the ads were “shameless,” adding that lawyers are examining the situation.
James also tweeted Friday: “Nobody should be able to use my name (or anyone else [sic] name) to lie and deceive about the election. Not sure what we can do legally but definitely trying to figure it out!”
Protect My Vote says it is “a nonpartisan coalition of many groups and individuals concerned about ensuring the validity of our elections.” The website tells voters what they will need when they head to the polls, such as a government issued I.D. and what to do if they are purged from the voting rolls.
Voter fraud is extremely rare and there are studies showing mail-in voting as producing extremely low rates of voter fraud:
An expansive study in 2017 from the Brennan Center for Justice, a liberal-leaning think tank, found that the rate of voter fraud in the United States was somewhere between 0.00004% and 0.0009% of all votes.
More than a Vote was created in June by James. They have worked this summer to secure professional football stadiums and basketball venues as voting precincts for the general election. They have secured over half a dozen venues.
More than a Vote also donated to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition to ensure ex-inmates have the fees they need to regain their voting rights for November.