On Saturday, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp delivered a scathing rebuke of Major League Baseball’s decision to move the All-Star Game out of the state due to the state’s new law limiting voting, claiming that the move will cause economic harm to Georgians.
Mr. Kemp, a Republican, has cast the fight over voting rights in Georgia as a purely partisan fight hatched by Democrats rather than a civil rights movement to protect access to the poll in light of Republican efforts to impose additional limits on voting around the country.
At an informational convention, Mr. Kemp said, “Yesterday, Major League Baseball bowed to concern and misinformation from leftist activists.” He was joined by the state’s Republican lawyer common, G.O.P. members of the legislature, and grassroots activists. Despite the fact that many Georgians depend on the All-Star Recreation for their income, MLB prioritised the demands of Stacey Abrams and Joe Biden during the recent pandemic.
The governor’s speech was filled with conservative catchphrases like “kill tradition,” highlighting how Republicans are trying to make voting access a wedge obstacle they can tie into the cultural conflicts at the celebration’s core.
Re-Election in 2022
Mr. Kemp, who is preparing to seek for re-election in 2022, has worked hard to win back the support of Republican voters after becoming a prominent political target of former President Donald J. Trump over his unwillingness to help Mr. Trump overturn the state’s election outcomes last year. In spite of his track record as Georgia’s secretary of state, which includes decisions that made voting more difficult for people of his state, he is now a leading advocate for the Republican Party on this issue.
On Saturday, he made repeated attempts to paint the league’s decision as driven by Stacey Abrams, a voting rights advocate and past Democratic candidate for governor in Georgia who is expected to challenge Mr. Kemp again next year.
Ms. Abrams has pushed back on demands that sports leagues and companies boycott Georgia. She is one among the most prominent critics of the state’s voting legislation. On Friday, she expressed “dissatisfaction” that baseball officials had cancelled the All-Star Game, but “happiness” with their “position on voting rights.”
While defending Georgia’s new voting legislation, Mr. Kemp specifically called out two states with Democratic governors and legislatures, New York and Delaware. These states don’t provide as many early voting options as Georgia, but they also haven’t passed new laws restricting voting.
According to Mr. Kemp, “in New York they had 10 days of early voting” (New York really has 9). A minimum of 17 are observed in Georgia, with an additional two Sundays being optional. Having a valid reason to vote absentee in New York is crucial. If you need to vote absentee in Georgia, you can do so for any reason.
Mr. Kemp’s informational convention followed a week of television interviews in which he defended the law, saying that the addition of a mandatory Saturday of early voting would increase voter turnout. He and other Republicans have slammed Democratic officials at the state and federal levels for using criticism of the law as a political football. (After reviewing the voting regulation, the New York Times found 16 important parts that could obstruct voter access or political administration of elections.)