A voter casts her ballot for the November US presidential election in Rollinsville, Colorado. Colorado’s electoral law received renewed attention this week after the MLB decided to move its all-star game to the state to protest new Georgia law. Jason Connolly / AFP via Getty Images Hide caption

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Jason Connolly / AFP via Getty Images

A voter casts her ballot for the November US presidential election in Rollinsville, Colorado. Colorado’s electoral law received renewed attention this week after the MLB decided to move its all-star game to the state to protest new Georgia law.

Jason Connolly / AFP via Getty Images

When Major League Baseball decided to move the All-Star game to Denver, it was a moment of celebration for many Colorado politicians.

MLB withdrew the game from Atlanta in response to criticism of Georgia’s new electoral law. The choice of Coors Field as the new location was seen by Colorado lawmakers as further validation of Colorado’s reputation for having some of the most accessible and secure elections in the country.

But the move quickly ran into a new Conservative discussion point: States aren’t that different, Republican lawmakers claimed. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said on Fox News that the change “doesn’t make a lot of sense,” arguing that Colorado has equally restrictive laws.

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He and others pointed out that Georgia offers voters 17 days of personal pre-voting while Colorado only has 15 of those personal days.

“So hypocritical,” said Kemp. Senator Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina, posted a similar message on Twitter.

Why Colorado has fewer days for personal votes

There is one big difference between states, however: Colorado votes by mail. Each registered voter receives a voting slip approximately 15 to 20 days before the election. And instead of waiting in line at a polling station, the vast majority of them simply drop the ballot in a mailbox or secure mailbox.

According to the Secretary of State, 99.3% of first-time voters in Colorado used one of these methods last year.

So it’s true that Colorado has fewer days for face-to-face voting, but also a lot less demand for face-to-face voting. Voters rarely run into queues here. And the end result of Colorado’s system is a relatively high turnout.

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Georgia’s new law removes the state from Colorado’s postal vote, forcing more voters to appear in person. For example, under the new law, election officials in Georgia can only send absentee ballots to voters who request individually, thereby disrupting an approach to promoting absentee voting. And voters have a shorter window of time to ask for those ballots. (Georgia was sending postal voting requests to millions of voters in the 2020 area code, even if they hadn’t requested, to encourage postal voting during the pandemic.)

Georgian law also bans mobile voting centers and severely restricts the use of drop boxes. This is another area where Colorado is moving in the opposite direction. Colorado had one Dropbox for every 9,400 active registered voters in the last election, with the Secretary of State boasting of adding dozens of new locations in the past few years.

Georgia has now set a limit of one box per 100,000 active registered voters. In the greater Atlanta area, drop boxes could drop from 94 to 23, the New York Times reported. And instead of being outdoors with 24-hour access, as many are in Colorado, Georgia boxes must be inside government buildings and polling stations.

In the meantime, Georgia’s law adds an extra Saturday for early voting, but it limits the hours of those early voting days to 7am to 7pm

Comparison of state identification requirements

Kemp and others have also said Colorado requires photo ID to vote, which is false.

Colorado requires ID when voters first register and when voting in person. But the state accepts 16 different forms of identification. Options include common IDs like a driver’s license, U.S. passport, or government ID – but Colorado also accepts Medicare and Medicaid cards, college IDs, utility bills, bank statements, and paychecks.

Colorado does not require postal voting identification once an individual is enrolled. Instead, the state sends a ballot to the person’s home and then checks their signature against a database when the ballot is returned.

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Georgia only allows six ID cards for personal voting. And the state requires voters to produce a driver’s license number, copy of state ID, or social security number every time they vote by mail.

Georgia allows first-time voters to use documents such as utility bills, bank statements, and government documents that contain the person’s name and address for identification if they were unable to provide proof of residence on their first application for election. However, this option is only available for the person’s first choice in the state.

Water and food for the voters

The restrictions of the Georgian law on the provision of food and water near polling stations are another focus of criticism. After the All-Star Game moved, viral tweets claimed Colorado had the same restrictions, which is wrong.

In Georgia, the new law prohibits “anyone” from distributing food or water within 50 feet of a polling station or within 25 feet of a voter queuing outside a polling station. In Colorado, the state says that “comfort teams” can provide food and water as long as they are not promoting a political candidate or cause.

Colorado voters also need less food while waiting for the election, as they rarely run into queues. Georgia lawmakers have argued that election workers can still set up water stations. They said the law should prevent campaigns from attempting to influence voters with gifts.

A version of this story originally appeared on CPR.org.