Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert Manfred has decided to withdraw the 2021 All-Star Game from the state of Georgia because of its new voting law. This new law, known as “The Election Integrity Act of 2021,” was passed by Georgia’s Republican-controlled state legislature controlled and signed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp.
The law is in response to Donald Trump’s lies about widespread voter fraud and of a rigged election. It’s also a result of Donald Trump losing the state of Georgia by almost 12,000 votes and now having two elected Democratic senators representing Georgia on Capitol Hill.
The red state of Georgia has turned blue, at least for the time being.
Georgia’s voting law has several key provisions that restrict or discourage eligible voters from exercising their constitutional right to vote. It also strips power from local officials and gives it to state legislators, a majority of whom of course are Republican.
Some of those provisions:
— Voters will have less time to request an absentee ballot, reducing the time from six months to three months.
— If voters fail to provide the necessary and proper ID, their vote could be tossed out.
— Election officials can only mail out absentee ballot applications at the voters’ request.
— Drop boxes in predominantly Black communities and counties have been cut from 94 to 23 boxes and will only be available indoors and during regular business hours.
— Early voting in some counties will be restricted by their voting locations, and those counties who choose not to be open on Sundays would be limiting ballot access for parishioners at Black churches, routinely organize parishioners to vote after Sunday services.
— Offering food or water to voters waiting in line is now a misdemeanor.
— Georgia’s attorney general will manage an election fraud hotline.
— The Republican-controlled state legislature has more control over the state election board, stripping power from the secretary of state, who generally oversees elections.
One especially dangerous provision allows the legislature to suspend or replace any local official at any time, for any reason.
In this past presidential election, for instance, the legislature could have fired and replaced all local county officials and replaced them with those willing to lie about widespread voter fraud and a rigged election, thus tossing out thousands of legally cast votes. If this had happened, Donald Trump would be serving his second term as president of the United States.
Right now, in the United States of America, there are 47 other states contemplating 361 pieces of similar legislation.
Make no mistake, there is a Civil War taking place in the United States. It may not be a war of violence or killing (sometimes it is), but it is a war against people of color, the LGBT, the poor, and the uneducated. It is a war of thoughts, ideals, actions, and legislation.
I know this isn’t the sports article you wanted to read, but it’s the sports article you needed to read. Here at MANO, we will NEVER “just shut up and dribble.”
We must honor those who came before us, inspire those who will follow. We must help make a difference.
Featured image: “Major League baseballs, waiting for batting practice. Shot on an iPhone 7.” by apardavila is licensed under CC BY 2.0