- The Washington Times
Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Georgia’s Election Integrity Act was too racist for Major League Baseball, but perhaps not for the Democratic National Committee.

Democrats were accused of hypocrisy after Atlanta was named last week as one of the three finalists to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention, less than two years after Georgia became the target of boycott calls over the 2021 election law denounced by President Biden as “Jim Crow on steroids.”

Indeed, Mr. Biden endorsed calls for Major League Baseball to relocate the All-Star Game from Atlanta, telling ESPN in March 2021 that “I would strongly support them doing that.” Days later, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred pulled the game out of Truist Park and moved it to Coors Field in Denver.

But that was then. After Atlanta made the DNC‘s cut, 65 prominent Southern Democrats urged Mr. Biden in a letter this week to bring the convention to Georgia, declaring that “selecting the city of Atlanta will offer our nation a vision of America at its best.”

The signers included former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who led the resistance to the bill she dubbed “Jim Crow 2.0” and urged business and political leaders to “stand up and make their opposition … clear.”

The Democratic Party’s tire-screeching U-turn on Georgia did not go unnoticed on the right.

“But Jim Crow … on Steroids. Had to move the Baseball game and everything,” tweeted conservative media critic Stephen L. Miller.

Right-tilting media outlets took Democrats to task. Townhall.com columnist Guy Benson weighed in Wednesday with an op-ed headlined: “Democrats: Hey, Let’s Hold Our 2024 Convention in that Racist ‘Jim Crow 2.0’ State.”

“How could it be that Georgia was too racist to host the 2021 Major League Baseball All-Star game but is not too racist to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention?” asked National Review columnist Jim Geraghty.

Democrats accused Republicans of engaging in voter suppression with the law, which tightened ID requirements for absentee ballots; reduced the number of drop-off boxes, and banned third-party groups from handing out food and water in lines. The measure also added another Saturday for early voting.

If the legislation was intended to discourage voters, however, it was a miserable failure. Georgia broke records for voter turnout in the 2022 primary and general elections.

A University of Georgia post-election satisfaction study released Jan. 24 found that 72.6% of Black voters rated their voting experience as “excellent,” virtually the same percentage as the 72.7% response from White voters.

What’s more, 0% of Black voters rated their experience as “poor.” Nearly all voters, or 98.9%, reported no problems with casting ballots last November.

Ms. Abrams said in October that record turnout can still happen even with voter suppression, insisting it would be “wrong to suggest that there is a correlation between voter turnout and voter suppression because suppression is about barriers.”

Republican National Committee spokesperson Gates McGavick accused Democrats of pushing a false voter-suppression narrative.

“Democrats told countless lies about Georgia’s election integrity laws in 2021, spinning a conspiracy theory of voter suppression that was roundly disproved by record-breaking turnout in 2022,” Mr. McGavick told The Washington Times.

“Their lies cost the city of Atlanta $100 million in projected revenue when the MLB caved to the woke mob and moved their All-Star Game from the city,” he said. “Hardworking Georgians won’t forget Democrats’ phony outrage, costly boycotts, and excessive hypocrisy.”

Alfredo Ortiz, CEO of the Job Creators Network, said the “move by the DNC is shameful, but not surprising.”

Joe Biden, Stacey Abrams and their supporters wrongfully attacked the Georgia voting law as Jim Crow 2.0 at the time,” he said. “However, the evidence clearly shows there was a record-breaking turnout and almost unanimous consensus among Black voters that voting in 2022 was easy and painless.” 

Not only are Democrats willing to let bygones be bygones when it comes to the convention, but Mr. Biden is also pushing to move up the Georgia presidential primary in 2024 as part of an overhaul aimed at elevating the input of Black voters.

Mr. Biden has reportedly proposed having South Carolina lead off the primary season in February, followed by New Hampshire, Nevada, Georgia and Michigan. In 2020, Georgia didn’t vote until June.

The final three cities under consideration for the 2024 Democratic National Convention are Atlanta, Chicago and New York, according to multiple media reports.

In their Monday letter, Southern Democratic leaders made no mention of the election law, but said that Atlanta “served as the cradle of America’s civil rights movement” and “stands as a beacon of LGBTQUIA+ rights in the Deep South.”

“As the cultural and economic hub of Black America, the city embodies the American Dream in the 21st Century,” said the letter. “A nominating convention in the city of Atlanta will provide you with a backdrop that reflects your personal values and embodies your vision for America.”

California lists Georgia as one of the 23 states to which state-sponsored travel is banned based on “discriminatory laws” against LGBTQ people.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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