Gov. Kemp Vows to Defend ‘Fair’ Elections After MLB Pulls All-Star Game from Georgia

Gov. Kemp Vows to Defend ‘Fair’ Elections After MLB Pulls
All-Star Game from Georgia 1

(Headline USA) News of Major League Baseball’s decision to pull this summer’s All-Star Game from Georgia over its sweeping new voting law reverberated among fans Saturday, while Gov. Brian Kemp vowed to defend the measure, saying “free and fair elections” are worth any threats, boycotts or lawsuits.

The Republican governor said at a news conference that MLB “caved to fear and lies from liberal activists” when it yanked the July 13 game from Atlanta’s Truist Park. He added the decision will hurt working people in the state and have long-term consequences on the economy.

“I want to be clear: I will not be backing down from this fight. We will not be intimidated, and we will also not be silenced,” Kemp said.

“Major League Baseball, Coca-Cola and Delta may be scared of Stacey Abrams, Joe Biden and the left, but I am not,” he said, referring to companies that have also criticized the new law.

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Three groups already have filed a lawsuit over the measure, which adds greater legislative control over how elections are run and includes photo identification requirements for voting absentee by mail.

It also limits the use of ballot drop boxes and prevents party activists from handing out food or water to voters waiting in line, among other provisions.

Georgia Republicans say the changes were needed to maintain voter confidence in the election system, and the governor insists opponents have mischaracterized what the law does.

GOP lawmakers made the revisions in response to evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 elections.

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Baseball fans, meanwhile, appeared divided on pulling the game from Georgia.

Patrick Smith, a lifelong Braves fan in Ellisville, Mississippi, said he thinks the league made the right decision and noted that not taking a stand would have polarized some supporters.

“When governments restrict access to the ballot box, someone has to step in to encourage these entities to roll back those measures,” he said.

Lorre Sweetman, in Kahului, Hawaii, said it was a poor move by MLB because it wasn’t based on the actual new voting laws but on “political pandering” and misinformation.

Still, while some fans upset about the decision have called for a boycott of professional baseball, she said she will not stop watching games and her three grandsons are still learning the sport.

“They caved to pressure without considering the message this sends to fans who just want to enjoy the game and support their team,” she said. “We need to take politics out of sports.”

But Dick Pagano, a baseball fan in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, said he will not watch or attend any games this year.

“They shot themselves in the foot,” said Pagano, who added he will be disappointed to miss the planned Hank Aaron celebration during the All-Star Game, because he once saw him play in the 1957 World Series.

Aaron, who played for the Braves in Atlanta and Milwaukee for most of his career, faced extensive hate mail and racism as he closed in on breaking Babe Ruth’s home run record.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press.

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Georgia governor blasts MLB for moving All-Star Game, saying league ‘caved to fear’ and ‘liberal lies’
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp: Election Reforms Worth the Boycotts, Lawsuits

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