By Adam Roberts – 4/2/2021
While not a local story, it bears mentioning what Major League Baseball has done today with regard to the 2021 All-Star Game.
Earlier today MLB announced it would move the game out of Atlanta, as well as the MLB Draft, in response to new voting laws passed in Georgia. Commissioner Rob Manfred released a statement, among other things confirming they were beginning the process of choosing a new host city with details to be announced shortly.
For context, SB 202 (known as the Election Integrity Act of 2021) was passed in the Georgia state legislature last week and makes a number of major changes to the state’s voting process. Mail-in absentee ballot applications can now be requested 11 weeks before an election, as compared to the 180 days from before the bill, and the final deadline to return an application is now two Fridays before election day. Anyone requesting an absentee ballot would also have to show a copy of their ID to verify their identity. Mobile voting polls are also now prohibited in Georgia expect during a governor-declared emergency; they were used in the Atlanta area during the 2020 election.
Manfred said in a statement today “Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box”.