President Joe Biden again criticized Georgia’s new ‘Jim Crow’ voting law and praised companies like Major League Baseball for ‘speaking up,’ after the All-Star game was yanked from Atlanta.
He also said it was ‘up to’ The Masters whether they want to move the tournament from Augusta, just two days before the first round.
‘The best way to deal with this (boycotts) is for Georgia and other states to smarten up, stop it, stop it,’ Biden told reporters after he delivered remarks on the COVID-19 vaccination effort. ‘It’s about getting people to vote.’
He said corporations were making a ‘tough’ decision to weigh in on the new election laws, while Republicans have blasted them for being too ‘woke.’
Biden did admit that while moving the All-Star game from Georgia was a message to GOP lawmakers, workers were getting hurt ‘the most’.
‘Look, you know, it is reassuring to see that for-profit operations and businesses are speaking up about how these new Jim Crow laws are just antithetical to who we are,’ Biden said. ‘But there’s another side of it too. The other side to it too is that when they, in fact, move out of Georgia, the people who need the help the most, people who are making hourly wages, sometimes get hurt the most.’
President Joe Biden said that Georgia and other states contemplating ‘Jim Crow’-like voting laws needed to ‘smarten up’
‘I think it’s a very tough decision for a corporation to make or group to make,’ he continued.
‘But I respect it when they make that judgment and I support whatever judgment they make,’ the president added.
The Master’s starts Thursday and Augusta National Golf Club chairman Fred Ridley has not yet spoken publicly on the Georgia voting law controversy, but is scheduled to give a press conference Wednesday.
The first Masters was played at Augusta in 1934 and has been played in Georgia ever since.
On Tuesday, Republicans were angry that MLB pulled the All-Star Game out of Georgia and decided to have Denver, Colorado host the competition instead.
A number of Republicans pointed out that in some instances Georgia had less strict voting laws.
At Tuesday’s briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki rejected that flatly as she pointed to Colorado’s mail-in ballot system.
‘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,’ Psaki said when a reporter called the voting regulations ‘very similar.’
Georgia’s Gov. Brian Kemp and other GOP officials pointed out that Colorado has a slightly shorter early, in-person voting period and in-person ID requirements, however more than 90 per cent of Colorado’s voters in 2020 mailed in their ballots, due to the ease of the mail-in voting system.
Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott made the Georgia-Colorado comparison and tweeted, ‘The Wokes are at it again, folks.’
Biden also said it was ‘up to’ The Masters whether they wanted to move the tournament from Augusta, just two days before the first round
White House press secretary Jen Psaki rejected Republican claims that Colorado and Georgia have similar voting laws – which GOP Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp pushed after the All-Star Game was moved out of Atlanta for Denver
‘Georgia has 17 days of in-person early voting including two optional Sundays, Colorado has 15,’ Kemp said. ‘So what I’m being told, they also have a photo ID requirement. So it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.’
On Friday, MLB’s commissioner announced that the game would be moved out of Georgia as a response to the controversial voting law Kemp signed last month.
Psaki also argued Tuesday that the legislation was ‘built on a lie.’
‘There was no widespread fraud in the 2020 election, Georgia’s top Republican election officials have acknowledged that repeatedly in interview and what there was, however, was record-setting turnout, especially by voters of color,’ she said from the podium.
‘So instead, what we’re seeing here, for politicians who didn’t like the outcome they’re not changing their policies to win more votes, they’re changing the rules to exclude more voters,’ she argued.
Georgia’s Gov. Brian Kemp, photographed at a press conference responding to MLB’s decision, pointed out that Georgia has longer, in-person early voting and both states have an ID requirement saying the move ‘doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me’
Colorado’s system of voting was referred to by the the Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold in an October 2020 story by Coloradoan.com as the ‘gold standard’ in the United States, because all registered voters are sent a mail-in ballot unprompted.
More than 90 per cent of voters voted by mail even before the coronavirus, which prompted a number of states to follow its lead and expand mail-in balloting.
Psaki said Tuesday that 94 per cent of ballots cast in the state in the 2020 election were by mail.
Dropboxes for ballots in Colorado are available 24/7.
In the 96-page bill that Kemp signed in late March – which triggered the MLB’s All-Star game move – Georgia has placed new restrictions on mail-in voting.
The state moved back the deadline to request a mail-in ballot, starting 11 weeks before Election Day and ending 11 days before.
The Georgia law prohibits jurisdictions from sending out unsolicited absentee ballot applications.
Georgians voting by mail have a new ID component – where they must provide a driver’s license number or state-issued ID number on their applications.
When voting, that number must match.
The law also cut down the number of drop boxes – and the hours they’d be available to voters. The law mandates that boxes be placed inside government buildings and early-voting sites during non-business hours.
Georgia voters can still mail their ballots in through the United States Postal Service.
Postal delays, however, were a concern during the 2020 cycle.
Atlanta’s Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves, was supposed to be the site for the 2021 All-Star Game, but Major League Baseball announced Friday that game would be moved out of the state of Georgia in response to the controversial, GOP-approved voting law
EARLY, IN-PERSON VOTING AND ID REQUIREMENTS
In Colorado – as Kemp pointed out – the state has an early, in-person voting period of 15 days, compared to Georgia’s 17 days.
And there is an ID requirement.
The National Conference of State Legislatures, as The Washington Post reported, calls Colorado’s ID requirement a ‘non-strict’ voter ID law, meaning residents can use a driver’s license, passport, work ID – and it doesn’t have to have a photo.
If voters show up and don’t have an ID, they’re able to fill out a provisional ballot.
Georgia, on the other hand, has a ‘strict’ ID law, which requires a photo.
Democrats have long argued that voter ID laws hurt Americans of color and the poor.
Now the All-Star Game will be played at the Coors Field in Denver, Colorado (pictured), which has Republicans arguing that Colorado and Georgia have similar voting restrictions. Psaki pointed out that every Colorado voter receives a mail-in ballot unprompted
Georgia’s law also decreased the time period for their mandated run-off elections, which are triggered when no candidate gets above 50 per cent.
The run-offs will now be held four weeks after the general election, instead of nine.
New voters will be prohibited from registering to vote between the two elections.
WATER AND FOOD IN LINE
One of the most controversial components of Georgia’s voting law is that it makes it a misdemeanor for ‘any person’ to provide voters with food and water when they stand in line.
Critics of the law say that the broad language could apply to voters’ family members and friends and to non-partisan groups.
Advocates say that they want to crack down on politicking at the polls.
Water stations are permitted at polling sites, according to the Georgia law, but aren’t required to be provided to voters.
Colorado’s law allows for campaign workers to be outside giving out food and drinks, but they’re barred from doling out anything that has the name or image of a candidate on it.