Georgia’s election integrity bill, SB 202, has sparked a long thread of controversy — going so far as to prompt the removal of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game and the 2021 MLB draft from Atlanta’s Truist Park stadium.
The league’s decision has resulted in intense backlash, as fans are storming the virtual gates of social media to voice their dissent and members of Congress look to draft legislation to put an end to MLB’s antitrust law exemption.
But the most recent development in the brewing controversy addresses one question we’ve all been asking: Where will the MLB All-Star Game be held?
The answer? The less-diverse state of Colorado, which already has voter ID laws in place.
CNN was among many outlets to report on the league’s decision to host the game at Denver’s Coors Field, including the enthusiasm of area officials in its report.
“We are excited about the possibility of hosting the All-Star Game and are awaiting MLB’s decision,” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said.
Ironically, MLB’s recent move would bring the All-Star Game to a state less diverse than Georgia, one which had voter ID laws in place before Georgia’s SB 202 ever became a source of controversy.
Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina voiced his opinion on the reported move on Twitter on Tuesday.
“Georgia: Voter ID, 17 days of early voting. Colorado: Voter ID, 15 days of early voting. Atlanta is 51% Black. Denver is 9.2% Black,” the senator tweeted.
“The @MLB is moving the #MLBAllStarGame out of ATL which has more day-of voting rights than CO? The Wokes are at it again, folks.”
Georgia: Voter ID, 17 days of early voting.
Colorado: Voter ID, 15 days of early voting.
Atlanta is 51% Black.
Denver is 9.2% Black.
The Wokes are at it again, folks.
— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) April 6, 2021
“Colorado requires voter ID to vote in person — either a driver’s license, an IRS issued ID card, a valid passport, or a valid employee card with a photo,” former National Republican Senatorial Committee senior adviser Matt Whitlock additionally tweeted, condemning the league’s move.
“@MLB better be ready to explain why this is more acceptable than Georgia after that absurd political statement.”
Colorado requires voter ID to vote in person — either a driver’s license, an IRS issued ID card, a valid passport, or a valid employee card with a photo. @MLB better be ready to explain why this is more acceptable than Georgia after that absurd political statement. https://t.co/QT1wDkTboY
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) April 6, 2021
Scott and Whitlock are right.
U.S. Census Bureau data confirms Scott’s assertions that Colorado’s level of diversity falls short compared to Georgia’s, but on a grander scale than just the two major cities.
When examining the racial diversity of the whole state, Georgia’s demography indicates that 60.2 percent of residents are white and 32.6 percent — nearly one-third of residents — are African-American.
Colorado’s demography, on the other hand, paints a different picture.
The percentage of white Colorado residents is listed at 86.9 percent, nearly 27 percent higher than in Georgia, and the percentage of black or African-American Coloradoans is only 4.6 percent — a full 28 percent less than Georgia’s African-American population.
And, confirming the complaints that Whitlock — and others — have made regarding Colorado’s voter ID laws, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold’s official webpage includes a segment about acceptable voter identification, stating that “all voters who vote at the polls must provide identification.”
Even voting by mail is not exempt, according to Colorado rules. “If you are voting by mail for the first time, you may also need to provide a photocopy of your identification when you return your mail ballot,” the site adds.
So, MLB’s solution to legislation that supposedly disenfranchises minority voters is to withdraw two major events that could benefit the local economies of minority-dense communities near metro Atlanta?
Will MLB also stop requiring a photo ID to pick up tickets from will call as Republican Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina highlighted on Twitter?
— Nancy Mace (@NancyMace) April 3, 2021
It appears MLB’s most recent move is simply a grand charade of “wokeness.” And the league’s standard of criticism for Georgia is more politically than morally motivated.
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