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GOP Senator Tim Scott hits out at MLB over Georgia’s new voting laws

Senator Tim Scott has declared that the ‘wokes are at it again’ over the Major League Baseball’s decision to move its All-Star Game to Colorado in protest over Georgia’s new voting restrictions after suggesting the two states have similar voting laws. 

The South Carolina Republican on Tuesday joined the growing backlash against the MLB’s decision to move the game from Atlanta to Denver after Georgia instituted the new voting rules last week.

The Republican-backed Georgia law strengthens identification requirements for absentee ballots, shortens early voting periods for runoffs and makes it illegal for members of the public to offer food and water to voters waiting in line.  

Scott took to Twitter to question why the MLB was moving the game to Denver after pointing out similarities between Colorado and Georgia’s voting laws. 

‘The @MLB is moving the #MLBAllStarGame out of ATL which has more day-of voting rights than CO?’ he tweeted. 

‘The Wokes are at it again, folks.’

Senator Tim Scott on Tuesday joined the growing backlash against the MLB's decision to move the All-Star game from Atlanta to Denver after Georgia instituted the new voting rules last week

Senator Tim Scott on Tuesday joined the growing backlash against the MLB’s decision to move the All-Star game from Atlanta to Denver after Georgia instituted the new voting rules last week

Scott took to Twitter to question why the MLB was moving the game to Denver after pointing out similarities between Colorado and Georgia's voting laws

Scott took to Twitter to question why the MLB was moving the game to Denver after pointing out similarities between Colorado and Georgia’s voting laws

He noted that Georgia has 17 days of in-person early voting and Colorado has 15 days of in-person early voting. 

Scott also provided statistics on the African American make-up of the two cities, saying Atlanta is 51 percent black, while Denver is 9.2 percent black. 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki had earlier rejected claims that Colorado has similar voting laws to Georgia.

When asked during a White House press briefing about the ‘very similar’ voting regulations in the two states, Psaki said: ‘Well, let me just refute the first point you made. 

‘Colorado allows you to register on Election Day, Colorado has voting-by-mail where they send to 100 per cent in the state who are eligible.’  

Critics of the new law, including President Joe Biden, have argued it aims to suppress voting among black people and other racial minorities who tend to vote Democratic. 

Biden has previously referred to the changes as ‘Jim Crow on steroids’. 

The MLB controversy erupted last week when Commissioner Robert Manfred on Friday ordered the sport to relocate its July All-Star Game from Atlanta as a result of the new voting rules. 

The move was met with fierce criticism from Republican lawmakers, including Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp, who accused MLB of having ‘caved to fear, political opportunism, and liberal lies.’ 

‘They’re going to come after your ballgame. They’re going to boycott your business if you don’t agree with their way of life,’ Kemp told Fox News. 

‘We are not backing down.’  

The MLB confirmed on Tuesday that the Colorado Rockies would now host the annual game

The MLB confirmed on Tuesday that the Colorado Rockies would now host the annual game

Georgia's Governor Brian Kemp has accused the MLB of having 'caved to fear, political opportunism, and liberal lies' in moving the game out of Atlanta in protest over the voting laws

Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp has accused the MLB of having ‘caved to fear, political opportunism, and liberal lies’ in moving the game out of Atlanta in protest over the voting laws

Atlanta Braves blast MLB decision 

The Atlanta Braves baseball team has fired back at Major League Baseball after it was announced the 2021 All-Star Game would be moved from Atlanta over the backlash over Georgia’s new voting laws.

In a statement, the team said that it was ‘disappointed’ by the decision that was made by the organization.

‘This was neither our decision, nor our recommendation and we are saddened that fans will not be able to see this event in our city,’ the team said in a statement on social media. 

‘The Braves organization will continue to stress the importance of equal voting opportunities and we had hoped our city could use this event as a platform to enhance the discussion. Our city has always been known as a uniter in divided times and we will miss the opportunity to address issues that are important to our community.

‘Unfortunately, businesses, employees, and fans in Georgia are the victims of this decision. We will continue to support the community legacy projects which have been planned are in process.’

Former President Donald Trump also called on supporters to ‘boycott baseball’ as a result. 

‘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,’ Trump said in a statement. 

The MLB confirmed on Tuesday that the Colorado Rockies would now host the annual game. 

‘Major League Baseball is grateful to the Rockies, the City of Denver and the State of Colorado for their support of this summer’s All-Star Game,’ Manfred said in a statement.

‘We appreciate their flexibility and enthusiasm to deliver a first-class event for our game and the region.’

MLB said the venue was chosen, in part, because the team was already in the process of bidding for a future All-Star Game and had previously provided ‘a detailed plan for hotel, event space and security that took months to assemble.’ 

The Atlanta Braves had earlier issued a statement saying it was ‘disappointed’ by the decision that was made by the organization. 

The removal of the lucrative All-Star Game marks one of the most significant and high-profile signs of protest over Georgia’s new voting laws.

Atlanta-based companies Coca-Cola Co and Delta Air Lines are among those to blast the new law as ‘unacceptable’. 

Microsoft Corp, which in February announced a major new investment in Atlanta, said provisions of the law signed last week ‘unfairly restrict the rights of people to vote legally, securely, and safely.’ 

Citi’s chief financial officer Mark Mason said in a LinkedIn post that he was ‘appalled by the recent voter suppression’ passed in Georgia. 

Dozens of Black executives, including Merck & Co Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Frazier, had earlier called on their peers in US companies to push back against wider restrictions on voting rights. 

The campaign against the new Georgia law, led by Frazier and former American Express Co CEO Kenneth Chenault, urged companies to look past the appearance of partisanship and publicly stand against it and voting restrictions being pursued in other states.

‘We’re calling on corporate America to publicly oppose any discriminatory legislation and all measures designed to limit Americans’ ability to vote,’ Chenault told Reuters.

‘American companies need to take a stand.’

What does Georgia’s new GOP election law do? 

By Associated Press

CAN THE STATE TAKE OVER LOCAL ELECTION OFFICES?

Much of the work administering elections in Georgia is handled by the state’s 159 counties. The law gives the State Election Board new powers to intervene in county election offices and to remove and replace local election officials. That has led to concerns that the Republican-controlled state board could exert more influence over the administration of elections, including the certification of county results. 

One target for intervention could be Fulton County, a Democratic stronghold that contains most of Atlanta. The heavily populated county has been plagued by problems, including long lines, and it is often singled out by Republican officials. Under the law, the board could intervene in up to four counties at a time and install a temporary superintendent with the ability to hire and fire personnel including elections directors and poll officers. 

ARE PEOPLE BANNED FROM HANDING OUT SNACKS OR WATER TO VOTERS IN LINE? 

The new law makes it a misdemeanor to hand out ‘any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and drink’ to anyone standing in line to vote. The prohibition extends 150 feet from a polling place and 25 feet from any person standing in line.

Advocates of the law say they are attempting to crack down on political organizations or advocacy groups trying to influence voters just before they cast a ballot. 

Critics say it’s cruel and would penalize even nonpartisan groups or individuals for something as simple as giving water to someone waiting in a long line. 

Polling places would be able to, but not required to, set up self-serve water dispensers for voters. 

DOES THE BILL ELIMINATE SUNDAY VOTING? 

Republicans had proposed at one time to limit early voting on weekends, a time when many Black churches conduct ‘souls to the polls’ efforts to take congregants to vote. But Republicans reversed themselves, and the measure now expands weekend early voting. 

Previously, one day of weekend voting was required, with counties given the option of offering more. Now two Saturdays will be required, and counties can offer two Sunday voting days as well. Republicans point to this provision to argue they are actually expanding, rather than restricting, voting access. 


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