Major League Baseball (MLB) recently announced that it would move the All-Star Game out of Atlanta due to a new voting reform law passed in Georgia last month. The Election Integrity Act of 2021 was signed into law on March 25 was criticized by the Democrats and left-wing supporters. They allege that the election integrity law suppresses the rights of minorities and vulnerable communities.
President Biden had publicly announced that he would support MLB if the organization were to relocate the July 13 game. He called the new voting regulations “Jim Crow on steroids.”
“Over the last week, we have engaged in thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and the Players Alliance, among others, to listen to their views… I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game and MLB Draft… Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box… Fair access to voting continues to have our game’s unwavering support,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.
Georgia was one of the six states where Trump challenged the results of the 2020 election, alleging election fraud and irregularities. The GOP pushed the election reforms forward, and Georgia state Governor Brian Kemp approved it.
The new law mandates absentee voters to provide a copy of their identification card along with the ballot, a rule that already exists for in-person voters. It also expands voting hours as well as access to early voting. Voting from a precinct other than the registered precinct will mostly not be counted as valid. Drop boxes have to be under constant surveillance of authorities. The new law also mandates establishing a telephone hotline to collect voter intimidation or fraud reports.
Democrats and liberals have characterized the voter ID requirement as suppressing minority voting rights even though the reform only aims to protect the integrity of the votes cast by all Americans. Their attacks on the reform make false claims about the new law. For example, Biden falsely stated that the new law would require polls to close by 5 p.m. In reality, the new rules extend voting hours to 7 p.m. Governor Kemp has criticized Biden and his advisors for mischaracterizing the bill.
In an interview with Fox News, Kemp compared Georgia’s election laws and Biden’s home state of Delaware. Kemp said that Georgia has 17 days of in-person early voting, allows no-excuse absentee ballots by mail, and has set up drop boxes. These options, in contrast, are not available in Delaware.
Kemp accused the MLB of caving in to “fear and lies from liberal activists.” The governor warned that the decision would hurt the state’s economy and its workers. Kemp added that he is not afraid of Delta and Coca-Cola, two companies that have also criticized Georgia’s election integrity law.
Georgia’s election reform boycott
Trump has requested supporters to boycott MLB, Delta, Coca-Cola, and all corporations that oppose Georgia’s election reforms.
“Baseball is already losing tremendous numbers of fans, and now they leave Atlanta with their All-Star Game because they are afraid of the Radical Left Democrats who do not want voter I.D., which is desperately needed, to have anything to do with our elections… Boycott baseball and all of the woke companies that are interfering with Free and Fair Elections. Are you listening Coke, Delta, and all!” Trump said in a statement.