Amway Center opens Monday for early voting

Early voting starts Monday and for the first time, people will be able to cast their ballots at the Amway Center.

This is usually the time of year when the Amway Center is full of basketball fans watching the Orlando Magic shoot some hoops, but because of the pandemic, the arena’s lobby will be used for early voting.

"I think this is the biggest public facility we’ve had for early voting and when you look at the size and volume it takes, you feel safe in terms of interacting with other people," said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.

RELATED: Early Voting begins Monday: Polling locations, sample ballots, what to bring

Dyer says the Orlando Magic approached the city with the idea. Player Mo Bamba recently took action off the court, saying he plans to volunteer at the Amway polling site. 

Photo by Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Photo by Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

"Hopefully it’ll draw in some more people who are on the fence about voting," he said.

With large crowds showing up for early voting around the country, the mayor says we should be prepared.

"I think the enthusiasm is just as palpable in Central Florida so I wouldn’t discount that we will have lines on the first day."

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According to the Florida Secretary of State, out of the more than 2 million mail-in ballots received for the general election, over 623,000 are Republicans compared to more than 1,043,500 Democrats. More than 424,000 have no party affiliation.

Photo by Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Photo by Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

"They’re not saying vote Democrat, vote Republican or vote Green Party. They’re saying 'go vote.'"

RELATED: Explaining the proposed amendments on the ballot in Florida

The mayor says since the Amway Center is centrally located, anyone can come vote for the next two weeks starting Monday.

Dyer says free parking will also be available outside the Amway Center for people who come to vote.

Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.