State Farm Arena transforms into Georgia's largest early voting location

State Farm Arena is being transformed into a massive early voting site once again.

It is the largest early voting site in Fulton County and the largest in the state.

"Thousands of people coming is not something that's alien for us," said Steve Koonin, Atlanta Hawks CEO, "We want people to feel as good about their voting experience as they do seeing their favorite concert or a Hawks victory."

The arena has tripled the number of voting machines from the June primary from 100 to more than 300. They have also doubled the number of staff members working the site to 300 people a day. All of it is a part of a large effort to encourage people to show up to the polls for early voting.

"We're projecting 80% of our voters to turn out before Election Day," said Richard Barron, Director of Registration and Elections for Fulton County, "In 2016, we had 64% before Election Day and with absentee by mail changing the landscape, we are confident we will hit that 80% number."

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Officials have also made changes to avoid technical issues. The Atlanta Hawks will have its own IT department on-site along with Fulton County's Technical Department and Comcast representatives.

"We have 15 poll managers that have been trained by the county. Seven of them will be on staff every day," explained Koonin, "Our technical crews have been trained by the county. They will be on staff every day."

Social distancing measures and sanitizing voter stations are also a big part of this operation. Officials said they're proud that what they've done here has caught on with other cities.

Early voting begins Monday, Oct. 12, and goes until Oct. 30.

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