ACU Urges MLB to Correct ‘False Claims’ on Election Reforms and Return Games to Georgia

The American Conservative Union (ACU) is urging Major League Baseball (MLB) to publicly correct recent comments it made against Georgia’s election reform law while moving the All-Star Game to another state.

MLB moved the game and its 2021 draft from Georgia to protest lawmakers passing a new election reform law that was signed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in late March.

“We’re demanding that @MLB correct the lies about conservative election reform and to return the All-Star Game back to Atlanta,” Matt Schlapp, the chairman of the organization, wrote on Twitter, saying “baseball went broke for wokeism.”

Schlapp penned the lengthy open letter to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred in response to the league’s comments before moving the games from Atlanta, Georgia to Denver, Colorado.

“Throughout our nation’s history, there have been some who have sought to end the American experiment in democratic self-government. Whether motivated by socialist, fascist, or other illiberal authoritarian impulses, these radicals despise the virtues upon which free people can live in harmony,” the ACU wrote. “And you have played into their hands.”

“Your comments regarding the improvements to the Georgia election law are baseless and contrary to reality. Worse, your misguided comments and actions have harmed the good people of Atlanta, especially the African American community,” the letter continues. “Therefore, we urge you to publicly correct the record on Georgia’s election reform law.”

The ACU went on to say that it’s important for MLB to not stay silent because they have contributed to the “deeply flawed and misleading perceptions” on the bill’s content, claiming they haven’t properly read the new law.

“MLB’s recent public condemnation of a law it did not understand, and the resulting harm to the city of Atlanta, reveal the dangers associated with exercising your authority in an attempt to appease the Left,” the ACU said.

“The appetite of radicals is insatiable, and their ultimate target is the destruction of our nation’s freedoms,” it added.

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Matt Schlapp, Chairman of the American Conservative Union, during the Conservative Political Action Conference 2020 in National Harbor, Maryland, on Feb. 28, 2020. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

The ACU ended the letter by asking MLB for a meeting to discuss the matter and noted that to “continue pushing unpopular policies that harm future elections will only threaten the very future of Major League Baseball.”

The new law, the Election Integrity Act of 2021, requires a Georgia driver’s license or a state-issued or state-approved ID in order to vote absentee by mail; limits ballot drop boxes to one per county; limits absentee ballot requests to no later than 11 days before election day; and prohibits people to solicit votes, distribute or show any campaign material, or provide money or gifts, including food and drink, near any polling place.

The 95-page bill, S.B. 202 (pdf), passed the state House by a 100-75 vote and the state Senate by a 34-20 vote, with Republicans in support. Republicans currently hold a majority in both chambers. No Democrats voted for the reform measures.

MLB said it chose Denver because the Colorado Rockies, the state’s baseball team, was already in the bidding process to host a future All-Star Game. The team had submitted a detailed plan for hotel, event space, and security, and MLB staff had made several in-person visits to Denver.

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Ground crews prepare the field at Sun Trust Park ahead of Game 3 of MLB baseball’s National League Division Series between the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers, in Atlanta, Ga., on Oct. 7, 2018. (John Amis/AP Photo)

The MLB commissioner made the announcement to move the games just one day after the 2021 season began and pressure mounted from critics of the legislation who claimed the new law will make it more difficult for minorities to vote.

“Major League Baseball is grateful to the Rockies, the City of Denver, and the State of Colorado for their support of this summer’s All-Star Game. We appreciate their flexibility and enthusiasm to deliver a first-class event for our game and the region. We look forward to celebrating our sport’s best players and entertaining fans around the world,” Manfred said in a statement.

Critics charged that Colorado has similar voting laws to Georgia.

“Georgia: Voter ID, 17 days of early voting. Colorado: Voter ID, 15 days of early voting. Atlanta is 51 [percent] Black. Denver is 9.2 [percent] Black,” Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) wrote on Twitter after MLB made the announcement.

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Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) speaks to reporters as he arrives at the U.S. Capitol as the Senate impeachment trial of U.S. President Donald Trump continues on Jan. 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

White House press secretary Jen Psaki disputed the idea during a press briefing that the laws are similar in the two states.

“Colorado allows you to register on election day. Colorado has voting by mail, where they send to 100 percent of people in the state who are eligible an application to vote by mail. Ninety-four percent of people in Colorado voted by mail in the 2020 election. They also allow for a range of materials to provide even if they vote on Election Day, for the limited number of people who vote on Election Day,” she said.

Psaki claimed the Georgia election bill “is built on a lie” that there was widespread fraud during the 2020 election.

Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.