PC All-Stars

PC (Politically Correct) All-Stars


Leonard Zwelling

If you don’t get your way when it comes to a political decision, the recourse on the part of major league athletics and large businesses is extortion.

The Republican Georgia legislature and state Governor have enacted a new voting law in the state that they claim is aimed at assuring fairer elections and ending fraud. This took place after Donald Trump lost the state and the two newly-elected U.S. senators are Democrats despite the fact that there was no fraud. Hmmm—I wonder why the GOP legislature and Governor felt it necessary to advance a new law. If there was no fraud, why the new law?

In response to what Major League Baseball views as this new law’s voter suppression the Commissioner of Baseball has cancelled the All-Star game being played in Atlanta this summer. Where it will be played will be announced presently. (It was—after I wrote this. Denver.)

On April 2, The New York Times did a deep dive into the make-up of the new legislation which is either suppressive in the view of some or a guarantee of election integrity in the view of others. Here’s what the newspaper found.

Voters will have less time to request absentee ballots. Why? The Republicans hope that fewer people will register to vote this way because of those 1.3 million Georgians who did vote mail-in in 2020, 65% voted for Joe Biden. Voters will still have 78 days to register though which is not unreasonable.

ID requirements for absentee ballots have been made more rigid. A drivers’ license or state picture ID will now be required. Putatively, this adversely affects people of color. I am not sure I see why the requirements for absentee balloting should be less rigid than those for in person balloting. This does not seem oppressive to me.

Mobile voting has been banned. RV’s were used with some success in Fulton County to bring the polls to the voters. I am not sure why normal polling places and absentee balloting are not enough. There is no reason it shouldn’t take some effort to exercise one’s constitutional rights.

Voting hours have been shortened to daytime hours making it harder for those who work during the day. But, Saturday voting was expanded. The availability of Sunday voting is not guaranteed. This is supposed to unduly affect Black churchgoers who vote on Sunday, I guess.

Automatic mailing of absentee ballots to all voters will no longer occur. You have to ask for such a ballot. Third-party groups cannot request absentee ballots for others. This does not seem unreasonable either.

Food and water cannot be offered to voters waiting on lines by non-poll workers. This supposedly discriminates against those voting in inner cities where lines tend to be long. Voting is not supposed to be like going to McDonald’s.

There are other aspects to the law. The Georgia officials insist this law will make elections fairer. Democrats argue this will make voting harder, particularly for the poor and for minorities.

Personally, I don’t see that the law is all that restrictive. If you want an absentee ballot, you have to get it yourself or get personal help rather than make voting a group effort. The food and water provision is ridiculous on all levels as people shouldn’t be bothering other people waiting to vote. Anyone can get an absentee ballot thus no one needs to wait in line anyway. You are supposed to remove outside influences from voters within 100 feet of a polling place.

I see where some people see these laws as being overly suppressive of some voters. I also see the point of the Georgia legislature that these changes do not put undue hardship on anyone. And, as some have observed, these rules are less restrictive than those in President Biden’s home state of Delaware.

Here’s what I see. People just want to fight about everything and will resort to just about any tactic to get a leg up. Conservatives are clearly hoping that these new rules suppress traditional Democratic voters who upended Georgia completely in 2020. The liberals are making way more of these changes than is warranted. It seems to me that Stacey Abrams and her supporters can deal with this new law without claiming it will undo the trending of Georgia to the blue. Removing the All-Star game seems to be excessive and may well hurt some of the very people they say this law will suppress especially Black-owned small businesses around the stadium.

What is so disappointing is the tactics used by both sides here, the GOP and the Democrats. One is trying to suppress voting and the other is using extortion to get its way. Surely there must be some adults in Georgia. Right?

Neither voter suppression nor commercial extortion should be weapons in the political war. And politics need not be war. Ha!

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