In an interview with FOX News Monday night, Governor Brian Kemp said there was no point in moving the All-Star game to Colorado when he was comparing electoral laws.
ATLANTA – As reports broke Tuesday night of Major League Baseball’s decision to move the 2021 All-Star game to Colorado, Governor Brian Kemp was interviewed live on FOX News, again defending the Georgie Election Bill he recently signed.
That law – called the Georgia Election Integrity Act of 2021 – caused the MLB to pull the All-Star game out of Truist Park in July after the league viewed it as an affront to voter access.
During that interview, however, Kemp defended some provisions of the law and compared them to Colorado electoral laws.
“Georgia has 17 days of personal area code, including two optional Sundays. Colorado has 15, I am told,” Kemp said. “You also have photo identification, so it doesn’t make sense to me.”
However, the governor’s comments need to be contextual as there is very little demand for early voting in Colorado due to the use of postal voting. And while the state has a personal voting ID requirement, it doesn’t have a photo ID requirement, as Kemp claimed.
South Carolina US Senator Tim Scott also questioned moving the game to Colorado in a tweet as the state has fewer early election days.
The comparison of electoral laws between Colorado and Georgia was also an issue that was raised during a press conference at the White House on Tuesday.
“In Colorado, you can register on election day,” said Jen Psaki, White House press secretary. (In Georgia, you must register in order to vote until the fifth Monday before an election day.)
“Colorado has a postal vote that goes to 100 percent of the eligible people in the state,” added Psaki. “94 percent of people voted by mail (in 2020).”
In Colorado, in the November 2020 election, less than 3% of the ballots were cast during the early face-to-face vote, compared to 67% in Georgia, according to the U.S. Election Project.
The reason for the very low demand for early voting in Colorado is because election officials send a ballot to each registered voter. For example, while voters still have the option to vote in person, in the 2020 election, more than 94% of Denver County’s voters voted by mail.
“Almost everyone votes by mail, we did it long before COVID,” said Paule Teske, dean of the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado in Denver.
Given the number of Colorado voters who cast their ballots in the mail instead of in person, the comparison of the number of early polling days offered by each state doesn’t add up.
“Once you are in the system, you will receive a ballot every time and it will be automatic,” said Teske.
Kemp believes that photo identification is required in both states, Colorado law does not require photo identification. The National Conference of State Legislatures lists Colorado’s requirements as “not strict”.
One of more than a dozen types of ID is allowed to vote in person in Colorado and may be required the first time you vote via email. The list contains documents such as a utility bill, a bank statement, or a birth certificate.
Georgia’s identification requirement for personal voting was already required by law before the state’s new law and is classified as “strict” by the NCSL.
Photo ID is required to vote in person in Georgia. If you do not have ID during the vote, you can cast a preliminary voting slip and then have to return with your photo ID within three days for your voting slip to be counted.
Under the new Georgian law, to apply for a postal vote, you must provide an ID number from a driver’s license or government issued photo ID, or a photocopy of other approved photo ID.
Another point of discussion that led to the passage of the Georgian electoral law was ballot boxes where voters can return their postal votes. It’s another point where elections are more accessible in Colorado.
In Georgia, the law states how many Dropboxes can be available in each county. While the law requires every county to have at least one Dropbox, this may result in fewer Dropboxes in some counties than in the 2020 elections.
The law also requires the boxes to be inside and only accessible during election times.
“I live in the city of Denver and we have probably 30 or 40 locations with ballot boxes,” Teske said.
Similar dropboxes are out there in Colorado, and Teske said it allows voters to return their ballots at will.
“Open 24 hours, it’s pretty safe and I think there are cameras,” he added.
A Denver County spokesman confirmed that the Denver Dropboxes are under camera surveillance around the clock.
On Tuesday, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold released the following statement regarding the All-Star Game move to Colorado and questions about the state elections:
Colorado is recognized as the national gold standard for elections, and I am thrilled with the decision to move the MLB All-Star game to Coors Field in Denver.
The truth is, Colorado’s electoral model works. We send ballot papers to all voters, have early voting and voter registration on the same day. Voters can easily vote in our elections, which are also the safest in the nation. Accessibility and security of elections can go hand in hand.
We give voters sufficient time and opportunities to vote in our elections. District clerks send out ballot papers more than three weeks before election day. Soon after, dropboxes and polling stations will open across the state. These different options give voters time to send their ballot back in the mail, put it in a dropbox, or vote in person.
And the proof lies in our turnout, which is consistently among the best in the nation. We have the most accessible and secure elections in the country and we are grateful that MLB is giving us the opportunity to show what elections can be like!