Former President Donald Trump released a statement late on Friday condemning Major League Baseball's decision to pull the All-Star Game from Atlanta.
Trump said: "Baseball is already losing tremendous numbers of fans, and now they leave Atlanta with their All-Star Game because they are afraid of the Radical Left Democrats who do not want voter I.D., which is desperately needed, to have anything to do with our elections. Boycott baseball and all of the woke companies that are interfering with Free and Fair Elections. Are you listening Coke, Delta, and all!"
This comes after Robert D. Manfred Jr., the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, issued a statement on Friday in which he says that the 2021 All-Star Game is to be moved from Atlanta.
This was previously being discussed, but Friday's statement confirmed that the move will happen.
At issue are laws recently passed by Georgia, targeting what critics said were abuses that took place during previous elections. The bill's critics claim that it will disproportionately affect people of color and other marginalized groups. The primary complaint is that voters of color do not have access to government issued IDs, which will now be required to vote. However, the law has provisions for those IDs to be available at no cost.
"Over the last week, we have engaged in thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players Alliance, among others, to listen to their views. I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game and MLB Draft," the Commissioner wrote.
"Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box. In 2020, MLB became the first professional sports league to join the non-partisan Civic Alliance to help build a future in which everyone participates in shaping the United States. We proudly used our platform to encourage baseball fans and communities throughout our country to perform their civic duty and actively participate in the voting process. Fair access to voting continues to have our game’s unwavering support."
"We will continue with our plans to celebrate the memory of Hank Aaron during this season’s All-Star festivities. In addition, MLB’s planned investments to support local communities in Atlanta as part of our All-Star Legacy Projects will move forward. We are finalizing a new host city and details about these events will be announced shortly."
Georgia's new voting laws create a telephone hotline on election fraud, requires the testing voting machines for accuracy on or before three days preceding a primary or election. It allows poll officers to serve in neighboring counties to where they resides to help fill in if there is a poll worker shortage, which happened during the 2020 election. Advanced voting has been expanded, and have the option of Sunday voting, with at least two Saturdays required.
As per absentee balloting, an absentee ballot application must received no less than 11 days before the election or primary. The bill also looks to ban out-of-precinct voting until 5 pm, where upon arrival the voter must certify that they cannot make their precinct in time.
People applying to vote must provide a drivers license or identification number, or send a copy of another approved identification if they do not possess a drivers license or ID.
The bill would also shorten the runoff time period from nine weeks to four weeks, and pushes up the deadline to get the results certified to the Monday directly following the election.
The bill, passed on party lines through both the State House 100-75 and the Senate 34-20, on Thursday, making a quick trip to Gov. Brian Kemp's desk.
"Following the 2018 and 2020 elections, there was a significant lack of confidence in Georgia election systems, with many electors concerned about allegations of rampant voter suppression and many electors concerned about allegations of rampant voter fraud..."
"The changes made in this legislation in 2021 are designed to address the lack of elector confidence in the election system on all sides of the political spectrum, to reduce the burden on election officials, and to streamline the process of conducting elections in Georgia by promoting uniformity in voting," the bill states.