MLB to Relocate All-Star Game to Denver From Atlanta, AP Says

Major League Baseball will relocate its All-Star Game to Coors Field in Denver after saying it would not hold the event in Atlanta due to recently passed legislation tightening voting rules in Georgia, the Associated Press reported, citing an unidentified person.

“I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game and MLB Draft,” Commissioner Robert Manfred Jr. said last Friday. “Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.”

MLB to Relocate All-Star Game to Denver From Atlanta, AP Says

The decision has put the sport known as America’s pastime at the center of a partisan battle over elections, as several Republican-led states eye bills that would tighten voting rules. Democrats largely backed the relocation as a stand for voting rights while Republicans criticized the league and companies that oppose the law for caving into liberal pressure.

The new Georgia law requires voters to provide a state-issued identification card when requesting an absentee ballot, limits drop boxes, and lets any Georgian challenge the voting eligibility of an unlimited number of voters, among other restrictions. It also expands some early-voting hours.

Democrats say the Georgia law was intended to depress Democratic turnout after President Joe Biden won the presidency and the party won the state’s two Senate seats in January. Companies including Delta Air Lines Inc. and the Coca-Cola Co., both based in Atlanta, have criticized the new law. Delta CEO Ed Bastian said after the law was passed that the “entire rationale for this bill was based on a lie” about widespread voter fraud in Georgia elections in 2020. Biden also endorsed the MLB’s decision to move the All-Star Game.

Republicans have pushed back with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell slamming the “outrage-industrial complex,” and GOP leaders broadly defending the measure as necessary to restore faith in the voting process. Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott canceled plans to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Texas Rangers’ home opener, citing the MLB’s ban. Texas is considering similar legislation to the Georgia law.

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