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MLB All-Star Game Moved To Colorado Amid Uproar Over Georgia Voting Law

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Major League Baseball moved its All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver. That move came in protest against Georgia's new law that limits access to voting for many people. Republicans favor new voter restrictions after losing the 2020 election. And they have now responded to Major League Baseball with a new disinformation campaign. They've said Colorado's voter laws are just as restrictive as Georgia's. In reality, Colorado voting laws are among the most inclusive in the country. Here's Andrew Kenney of Colorado Public Radio.

ANDREW KENNEY, BYLINE: Major League Baseball said that they chose Colorado as the new site of the All-Star game for purely logistical reasons. The Colorado Rockies already had a strong plan for hotels and events and security. But it was hard to ignore the politics of it. Georgia's Republican governor, Brian Kemp, said that if the standard was the election system, moving the game to Colorado was hypocritical. He made the point on Fox News that Georgia has 17 days of in-person early voting.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BRIAN KEMP: Including two optional Sundays. Colorado has 15 is what I'm being told. They also have a photo ID requirement. So doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

KENNEY: Colorado does not require a photo ID. Kemp was correct that Colorado has fewer days for voters to physically show up at the polls. But since the state started mailing all voters ballots in 2014, most people here don't vote in person.

HILLARY HALL: Ninety-five percent of our voters will use a mail ballot.

KENNEY: Hillary Hall is the former clerk of Boulder County and is now a vote by mail advocate with the National Vote At Home Institute. She says that when people do go to the polls, it's often because they didn't get a ballot at home or simply personal preference.

HALL: In our state, early voting is really the safety net to allow people who aren't already registered or who have moved or any of those sorts of things to participate through early voting.

KENNEY: Colorado is one of a few states that mails out ballots to every registered voter weeks ahead of time. Voters can then mail them back or drop them in one of hundreds of official 24-hour drop boxes. Georgia's new law, on the other hand, will make it harder to vote by absentee mail ballot. A New York Times analysis found the new law is set to cut the number of drop boxes around Atlanta by some 75%. Colorado election leaders say the differences between the two systems are evident. While Georgia is known for hours-long voting lines, Colorado is second in the nation for turnout. Colorado's Secretary of State Jena Griswold says the All-Star game is another chance to celebrate how her state votes.

JENA GRISWOLD: So I think it's really exciting, of course, that we're going to have the All-Star game but also the ability to highlight how elections can be for all American voters.

KENNEY: Major League Baseball's All-Star game is scheduled for July 13 in Denver.

For NPR News, I'm Andrew Kenney.

(SOUNDBITE OF GIANTS' "JOPLIN, MISSOURI") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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