MLB moves All-Star Game out of Atlanta over GA election reform
Major League Baseball boycotts Georgia for voter ID law. Reaction from former professional player Dan Venezia.
Some of the states looking to host the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, after it was pulled from Atlanta over a recently-passed Georgia election reform law, have some of the same or even tighter voting restrictions compared to those called for in the controversial measure.
As previously reported by Fox News, Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer suggested the league should consider playing the game in New York, where the state is “working to make it easier, not harder, to vote.”
In New York State there are fewer early voting days than Georgia and a restriction on passing out food and water over $1 in value to voters in line. Georgia forbids giving food and water to people on line to vote. New York also requires an excuse to request an absentee ballot, though that provision is considered relatively flexible.
Other states that have expressed interest in hosting the game include Colorado, Illinois and New Jersey, which are all led by Democratic governors.
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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has called the voting restrictions in Georgia “Jim Crow 2.0” and is also looking to lure entertainment industry companies from the Peach State.
In New Jersey, like New York, there are fewer early voting days than Georgia. There do not appear to be restrictions, however, on handing out food and beverages to individuals waiting in line to vote, and the deadline to request an absentee ballot is more forgiving than what has been mandated by the new Georgia law.
Illinois’ Democrat Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the state would “welcome the All-Star Game safely and enthusiastically.” In Pritzker’s state, the early voting period must begin at least 15 days before the election, which allows it to potentially be shorter than Georgia’s.
But handing out food and drinks to voters does not appear to be restricted, and Illinois’timeline to request an absentee ballot is less limiting.
A spokesperson for Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said the governor would be “burning up the phones” to bring the game to Denver, as reported by The Denver Post.
In Colorado, the early voting rules require polling centers to be open 15 days before the election – similar to Illinois.
But absentee ballots are received automatically, which is far less restrictive than many other states, Georgia included.
Each of these states appears to have less restrictive overall voting guidelines than Georgia. All of them, for example, use signature matching for absentee ballot verification, whereas Georgia will now require voters to present a valid form of photo identification.
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As previously reported by FOX Business, the game generates a healthy amount of economic activity for the host city, so it is not a surprise lawmakers are jockeying to get their respective stadiums on the MLB’s radar.
The 2020 All-Star Game hosted in Los Angeles, for example, had an estimated economic impact of $89 million. The game the year prior in Cleveland was estimated to have generated $65 million in regional economic activity. The 2013 event in New York had a massive local payday – estimated at $191.5 million.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced last week that the game would be relocated from Atlanta over the recently-passed election reform law, which was signed into law by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp at the end of last month.
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The legislation changes the rules and processes for requesting an absentee ballot, including requiring voters to present valid forms of identification. It also limits drop boxes and the early voting period for runoffs, among other provisions.
Republicans argued the legislation was necessary to shore up confidence in the election process.
Georgia was one of the key states that the Trump campaign focused on as it homed in on unproven claims of voter fraud during and after the 2020 presidential election. Biden narrowly won Georgia by roughly 12,000 votes.
Fox News’ Morgan Phillips and Rémy Numa contributed to this report.
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