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All-Star game move from Atlanta to Denver sparks inaccurate comparisons of GA, CO voting laws

Colorado Denver voting ballot box drop absentee mail vote
Posted at 5:09 PM, Apr 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-06 17:09:46-04

Inaccurate or misleading statements about Colorado’s voting laws have been popping up Tuesday, shortly after MLB announced the All-Star Game would be coming to Denver.

During an interview with Fox News Tuesday morning, Representative Tom Cotton suggested that if President Joe Biden called Georgia’s new election law “Jim Crow 2.0, then maybe Colorado is Jim Crow 3.0.”

“Colorado appears to require photo identification to vote in person,” Cotton told the hosts. “Colorado has fewer days of in-person voting than Georgia,” he added.

Cotton’s comments, and statements from others, were meant to question MLB’s reasons for moving the All-Star Game. The league announced last week the game was leaving Atlanta specifically because of Georgia’s recently-passed elections law.

“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” MLB Commissioner, Rob Manfred, said.

So, how do Colorado’s voting laws compare to the new Georgia law?

Colorado has a “non-strict” voter ID law for in-person voting. Voters can use several types of ID, including ones with or without a photo, and if they don’t have an ID, they can vote using a provisional ballot.

However, the number of in-person voters in Colorado is relatively small. They are one of a handful of states that mails every eligible voter an absentee ballot by mail automatically. According to the Washington Post, roughly 99% of voters in Colorado use those absentee ballots instead of in-person options.

Because of this, there are secure ballot drop boxes all over the state. For the November 2020 election, there were 368 ballot drop boxes in Colorado.

Georgia’s new law is considered a “strict” ID law, because it requires a photo ID. And, the ID requirement in the new bill is only for mail-in voting.

The new law also says every one of Georgia’s 159 counties has to have at least one drop box, however it limits how many are in each county. Fulton County, for example, says they will go from having 38 drop boxes in 2020 to just eight in the future.

Another criticism is the number of days are allowed for early voting. Georgia will now have 17, while Colorado has 15. This is true, Colorado has fewer days. Colorado does allow for voters to register on Election Day, and they also send an absentee ballot to every registered voter.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about the comparisons between Georgia’s new election law and Colorado’s voting access during her daily briefing.

“I think it’s important to remember the context here. The Georgia legislation is built on a lie. It’s — there was no widespread fraud in the 2020 election. Georgia’s top Republican election officials have acknowledged that repeatedly in interviews. And what there was, however, was record-setting turnout, especially by voters of color,” Psaki said.

There are many conversations happening about how restrictive the Georgia elections law is, and what impact it will have on voters in practice. What is clear, is Colorado’s voting system is very different from Georgia’s and the criticisms comparing the two should have context.