In April 2021, Major League Baseball (MLB) introduced that it was moving the upcoming All-Star Game out of Georgia in response to the state’s new restrictive voter legislation and would as a substitute be internet hosting the sport at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado. Shortly after this information broke, political pundits began posting messages evaluating the voter legal guidelines in Denver to Georgia’s new voter legislation.
The National Review, as an illustration, wrote:
Another humorous approach of exhibiting your concern for alleged “voting restrictions” is by transferring the All-Star Game to a state that in some ways has voting legal guidelines at the least as stringent as Georgia’s. To vote in Colorado, an individual wants photograph identification, simply as they do on the will-call window at Coors Field.
But within the very subsequent sentence, the Review confusingly added: “Like Colorado, Georgia allows voters without ID to use the last four digits of their Social Security number, a bank statement or utility bill, a paycheck, or any other government document with their name and address.” Furthermore, the Review linked to Colorado’s Secretary of State website, which confirmed that folks can use a “copy of a current (within the last 60 days) utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the elector” as a type of identification. In different phrases, a Colorado voter might use any of a number of types of identification, together with some with out a photograph, with a purpose to vote.
Republican communicator Matt Whitlock additionally shared an incomplete checklist of Colorado’s voter-ID necessities:
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp even made the misguided declare about photograph IDs throughout an look on Fox News. Kemp said:
They have 15 [days of in-person voting]. We have 17. They have a photograph ID requirement for in-person voting as we do.
To be clear, Colorado doesn’t require photograph ID to vote in individual.
While Kemp is correct to say that Georgia has extra days for in-person voting than Colorado, he failed to say that Colorado is an all-mail voting state, which implies that each eligible voter in Colorado receives a mail-in poll earlier than an election. While individuals nonetheless have the choice to vote in individual in the event that they selected to (and might register the same day as the election), the overwhelming majority of voters select to vote by mail. In 2020, greater than 99% of Colorado’s vote arrived via mail.
It also needs to be famous that Georgia’s new voting legislation is near 100 pages and offers with way over voter-ID necessities. Colorado Public Radio reported on among the ways in which Georgia’s new voting legislation differs from the voting legal guidelines in Colorado:
Georgia’s new legislation strikes the state away from Colorado’s vote-by-mail method, pushing extra voters to indicate up in individual. For instance, below the brand new legislation, Georgia elections officers can solely mail out absentee purposes to voters who individually request it, shutting down one method to encouraging mail balloting. And voters can have a shorter window to ask for these ballots. (Georgia despatched out absentee purposes to tens of millions of voters within the 2020 main, even when they hadn’t requested it, to encourage absentee voting in the course of the pandemic.)
The Georgia legislation additionally bans cellular voting facilities, and it strictly limits using dropboxes. This is one other space the place Colorado is transferring in the other way. Colorado had one dropbox per 9,400 lively registered voters for the final election, with the Secretary of State boasting about including scores of latest areas up to now few years.
In Georgia, it’s capped at one field per 100,000 lively registered voters. The metropolitan Atlanta space may see its variety of dropboxes drop from 94 to 23, The New York Times reported. And, as a substitute of being open air with 24-hour entry, as many in Colorado are, the Georgia bins have to be inside authorities buildings and voting websites.
The Georgia Recorder additionally famous a number of of the variations between the election legal guidelines in Colorado and Georgia. Here’s how the native outlet defined the distinction between Georgia and Colorado’s voter identification necessities:
Colorado doesn’t require voter ID for mail-in ballots. Georgia simply handed such a requirement.
Republicans have seized upon the truth that Colorado requires ID for voters who vote in individual, equating it with Georgia’s voter ID legislation, which was enacted in 2005. But the overwhelming majority of Coloradans don’t want to indicate an ID with a purpose to vote; final 12 months, greater than 94% of Colorado voters solid their ballots by returning them by way of the mail or in drop bins, in accordance with election-night knowledge from the Colorado Secretary of State’s workplace. Colorado does require ID with a purpose to register to vote, however the state accepts a wider vary of types of identification, together with non-photo IDs like pay stubs and utility payments, than Georgia does.
Among probably the most controversial modifications made by Georgia’s new election legislation is to require voter ID for absentee ballots — a requirement that doesn’t exist in Colorado, which makes use of signature verification to validate mail-in ballots.
While one may choose and select parts of Georgia’s legislation and evaluate them to the legal guidelines in different states, the overarching criticism of Georgia’s new voting legislation is that it restricts voting entry — by, for instance, limiting the variety of absentee ballot drop boxes and diminishing the time voters need to request absentee ballots — and that it was handed with votes solely from the political social gathering (Republicans) that simply misplaced two U.S. Senate seats (and a presidency) throughout an election that noticed record-breaking turnout.
This legislation was additionally handed within the aftermath of an election that was marred by false claims about voter fraud. While Georgia legislators wrote in the new voting bill that the laws was wanted as a result of “there was a significant lack of confidence in Georgia election systems,” the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and different election officers beforehand known as the 2020 election “the most secure in American history.”