This week, Major League Baseball announced that they were moving the planned All-Star Game out of Georgia in protest of the state’s recent enactment of suppressive new voting restrictions. (The league’s leader noted, though, that their “planned investments to support local communities in Atlanta as part of our All-Star Legacy Projects will move forward.”) The Georgia legislation has attracted steep criticism for the hurdles that it has imposed around the electoral process in the state, and over the weekend, former President Barack Obama issued a public statement in support of the MLB’s decision.
As Obama put it:
‘Congratulations to @MLB for taking a stand on behalf of voting rights for all citizens. There’s no better way for America’s pastime to honor the great Hank Aaron, who always led by example.’
Congratulations to @MLB for taking a stand on behalf of voting rights for all citizens. There’s no better way for America’s pastime to honor the great Hank Aaron, who always led by example.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 3, 2021
Georgia Republican leaders absolutely freaked out following the announcement of the MLB’s decision.
Governor Brian Kemp, for instance, claimed that “all Americans” ought to “understand” that “cancel culture and woke political activists are coming for every aspect of your life, sports included,” and he characterized the MLB’s decision as an “attack on our state.” Calling a private organization’s decision to move one baseball game an “attack” is unhinged. Somehow, Georgia state House Speaker David Ralston (R) sounded even more off-the-edge — he complained that “Stacey Abrams’ leftist lies have stolen the All-Star Game from Georgia,” insisting that Georgians will “continue to speak truth despite extortion and intimidation.” The Republican persecution complex continues.
Here’s Gov. Kemp’s full statement on the MLB’s decision to pull the All-Star game: pic.twitter.com/HyhhGrHPcz
— Chenue Her (@ChenueHer) April 2, 2021
Despite self-important claims to the contrary from Georgia Republicans, the new election-related legislation in the state is harmful. Among other examples, it imposes new voter ID requirements around the usage of mail-in ballots despite the fact that no systematic problems emerged in the state’s previous signature-based verification system for these ballots. Ex-President Donald Trump did, however, feverishly and deceptively complain about Georgia’s signature verification system, and now state Republicans have come up with this suppressive legislation.
It’s an unnecessary, punitive hurdle — as voting rights lawyer Marc Elias explained on Twitter, accidentally submitting the wrong information when using a state driver’s license to fulfill the identification requirement seems dangerously easy. Ballots from mail-in voters could be unfairly rejected because of these totally unnecessary new procedural challenges.
The new Georgia law will require voters to submit ID to vote by mail. If they use their driver's license, they need to provide the #.
One of the two numbers below is correct. If they put the other, it will be rejected.
Are you sure you would pick the right one? pic.twitter.com/3yQZAgioLO
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) April 1, 2021
Check out Twitter’s response to Obama’s MLB statement below: