Republicans Just Lying Their Asses Off About Colorado Voting Laws
Last week, Major League Baseball pulled its upcoming All-Star Game from Atlanta in protest after Georgia Republicans passed their new cheaty voting law. MLB announced Tuesday that the Colorado Rockies in Denver will now host the July event. This should've pleased Republicans, for whom dragging Atlanta was their own national pastime. The former White House squatter once described the late John Lewis's congressional district, which includes three-fourths of Atlanta, as “crime-infested" and “falling apart." But MLB took a bold stand in support of Black people voting, which surprised the hell out of conservatives who'd hoped that major corporations would just smile and nod as they reinstalled Jim Crow.
The rightwing response was predictable. Senator Tim Scott from South Carolina, an ongoing embarrassment, revealed the shocking fact that Colorado has fewer Black residents than Atlanta, so presumably MLB is the real racist. His equally conservative ancestor, “Honeydew" Scott (there is no such ancestor), probably lectured Harriet Tubman because she led Black people from majority-Black plantations to lily-white Canada.
Scott also pointed out that Georgia has more days of early voting than Colorado.
The @MLB is moving the #MLBAllStarGame out of ATL which has more days of voting rights than CO?
The Wokes are at it again, folks.
As Leo Bloom might say, let's assume, just for the moment, that Tim Scott is a dishonest man. He shamelessly presented this early voting information out of context. Yes, Georgia has two more days of early voting, but few Coloradans vote in person, like suckers. According to the Colorado Sun, almost 94 percent of Coloradans voted by mail or dropbox in the 2020 election compared to just one-third of Georgia voters. Just 198,645 Coloradans voted in person, while 2.2 million Georgians did so, often waiting in absurdly long lines. After last June's primary election, Nse Ufot, executive director of New Georgia Project, described the situation in Fulton County, which is 43 percent Black, as a "hot, flaming, fucking mess."
Here's an easy way to tell the difference: Find a photo of Colorado voters waiting in a long line on Election Day.… https://t.co/JeledQGsmu— Dave Weigel (@Dave Weigel) 1617732494.0
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp shared more out-of-context bullshit about voting laws in Colorado:
What I'm being told, they also have a photo ID requirement. So it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.
Georgia in-person voters must produce photo ID either when they vote or by following up with their county within three days. The few Coloradans who do vote in person can provide a range of identifying documents, including a bank statement or utility bill. If you have electricity, you can vote in Colorado. You can still cast a provisional ballot even without any ID, and the counties must attempt to verify your identity.
You'd think Kemp could discern the considerable differences between the photo ID requirements in his own state and Colorado. Maybe he's just stupid or he believes his constituents are stupid. Both are probably true.
However, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is not stupid. During Tuesday's press briefing, Fox News correspondent Pete Doocy asked if the White House was "concerned that Major League Baseball is moving their All-Star Game to Colorado where voting regulations are very similar to Georgia?"
The states' voting regulations are not similar. They're not in the same ballpark. They're not the same fucking league. Psaki took a moment to calmly smack down Doocy's lie-filled talking points.
PSAKI: First let me say on Colorado, Colorado allows you to you register on Election Day. Colorado has voting by mail where they send to 100% of people in the state who are eligible, applications to vote by mail; 94% of people in Colorado voted by mail in the 2020 election. They also allow for a range of materials to provide, even if they vote on Election Day, for the limited number of people who vote on Election Day.
Colorado automatically mails ballots to registered voters, a practice the one-term loser repeatedly denounced. Georgia cuts off voter registration 28 days before Election Day, while Colorado has same-day registration.
Georgia's new voter suppression law reduces the number of ballot drop boxes to "one per 100,000 voters in a county, or one per early voting site, whichever is fewer." (It also has many, many rules about when and whether people can ... drop their ballots in the drop box.) However, Colorado has minimum requirements for drop boxes, depending on the county's population. The state currently provides one dropbox for every 12,500 to 15,000 voters.
Jen Psaki responds to Peter Doocy’s MLB question https://t.co/CTrGbmpogy— Chelsea Pope (@Chelsea Pope) 1617758199.0
Georgia's Jim Crow law is intentionally designed to suppress the vote, specifically among those most likely to vote Democratic. It is superficially race neutral but so were the old-school Jim Crow laws. I loved how Psaki yanked away the curtain on the legislation's corruption.
PSAKI: I think it's important to remember the context here: The Georgia legislation is built on a lie. There was no widespread fraud in the 2020 election. Georgia's top Republican election officials have acknowledged that repeatedly in interviews. What there was, however, was record-setting turnout, especially by voters of color. Instead what we're seeing here for politicians who didn't like the outcome is they're not changing their policies to win more votes, they're changing the rules to exclude more voters, and we certainly see the circumstances as different. Ultimately, though, it's up to Major League Baseball to determine where they're holding their All-Star Game.
The MLB moved its All-Star Game to a state that believes in democracy, not just when convenient, and fully supports voter enfranchisement. Republicans can offer misleading statistics with their damn lies, but they're just embarrassing themselves.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."