ATLANTA — Democrats in Georgia are responding to GOP claims they’re at fault for the MLB decision to pull the All-Star Game and draft out of Atlanta.
The league commissioner announced his decision Friday, capping off a week of blowback and calls for boycotts over the state’s newly signed election law.
Both Gov. Brian Kemp and Speaker David Ralston issued statements decrying the move, with previous gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams being named by both men as the driving force behind it.
“This attack on our state is the direct result of repeated lies from Joe Biden and Stacey Abrams about a bill that expands access to the ballot box and ensures the integrity of our elections. I will not back down,” said Kemp.
“Stacey Abrams’ leftist lies have stolen the All-Star Game from Georgia,” said Ralston.
Abrams issued a response of her own, which doesn’t name or respond to a politician, but expresses disappointment in MLB’s decision. She says she respects boycotts, but doesn’t want to see Georgians hurt by lost jobs and events.
"Republicans who passed and defended Senate Bill 202 did so knowing the economic risks to our state. They prioritized making it harder for people of color to vote over the economic well-being of all Georgians.
Like many Georgians, I am disappointed that the MLB is relocating the All-Star game; however, I commend the players, owners and League commissioner for speaking out. I urge others in positions of leadership to do so as well. As I have stated, I respect boycotts, although I don’t want to see Georgia families hurt by lost events and jobs. Georgians targeted by voter suppression will be hurt as opportunities go to other states. We should not abandon the victims of GOP malice and lies - we must stand together.
Georgia Republicans must renounce the terrible damage they have caused to our voting system and the harm they have inflicted on our economy. Our corporate community must get off the sidelines as full partners in this fight, acknowledging that the provisions of SB 202 do not expand voting rights. They restrict those rights, affecting employees and consumers alike. And leaders must publicly support the voting rights provisions in the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to mitigate the harm being done in Georgia and other states.
As other events, productions and businesses weigh whether to patronize Georgia, I urge those who can to come and speak out, and I urge those who are here to stay and fight, to stay and vote. We need you. Please go to stopjimcrow2.com to find out how you can join the fight for voting rights in Georgia and around the country."
MORE ON THE LAW
SB 202 is part of a wave of GOP-backed election bills introduced across the country after the November election.
The law places new restrictions on voting by mail and greater legislative oversight of elections.
The 95-page bill includes things like:
- Requiring an ID number, like a driver’s license, to apply for an absentee ballot
- Cutting off absentee ballot applications 11 days before an election
- Limiting the number of absentee ballot drop boxes
- Allowing the state to take control of what it calls “underperforming” local election systems
- Disallowing volunteers from giving away food and drink to voters waiting in lines
Opponents of the law say it will mostly impact urban counties with more Democrats and have referred to it as 'Jim Crow 2.0'