Fact Check: Republicans Falsely Equalize Georgia and Colorado Election Laws


Some of these Republicans are trying to convince Americans that baseball officials are not only wrong but also hypocritical. On television and on social media, they have strongly asserted or suggested that Georgia’s new law is no stricter than Colorado’s election law.

That is not even close to the truth.

Colorado mails a ballot to every active registered voter. Because of this policy and others described below, experts say Colorado is one of the states that makes voting easy; David Becker, executive director of the Center for Election Research and Innovation, a nonprofit organization, said it is “possibly at the top of the list of the easiest states to vote.”

There is debate even among experts as to where exactly Georgia is located, but it is very obvious that it is more restrictive than Colorado. Republican attempts to portray Colorado as the Georgia equivalent have either been completely false or lack essential context.

However, they have quickly made their way into the right-wing media ecosystem. Echoing claims made by others on Fox News, Network reporter Peter Doocy asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday if the White House is concerned that Major League Baseball is moving the game. to a state “where voting regulations are very similar to Georgia.” Doocy’s premise was simply inaccurate.

Here’s a look at the many problems with some of the Republican claims about Colorado and Georgia.

Colorado has far fewer in-person voters

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, South Carolina Senator. Tim scott, and several other Republicans have pointed out that Georgia’s new law requires 17 days of early voting in person, while Colorado’s early voting in person begins 15 days before Election Day.

This is true, but it leaves out a critical context: Colorado, unlike Georgia, mails a ballot to every active registered voter. And the overwhelming majority of Colorado voters choose to vote by mail rather than in a voting booth.

In the 2020 general election, 94% of the votes cast in Colorado were by mail, says the state Secretary of State’s office. In the 2016 general election, it was 93%.
In Georgia, where voters have to request a ballot by mail if they want one, approximately 26% of the votes in the 2020 general election were votes by mail.
Georgia’s new law also prohibits the state from moving in the direction of Colorado-style mail-dominated elections. The law says that mail-in ballots can only be provided upon a specific request from a voter. And it prohibits the secretary of state and other government officials from sending absentee ballot requests even to all active registered voters, as Raffensperger, a Republican, did for the 2020 primaries due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Colorado Offers More Access on Election Day

Scott reclaimed in his tweet that Atlanta “has more voting rights per day than CO”.

If you were talking about election day rights, you were wrong.

Colorado keeps the polls open until Election Day night. Georgia did the same in 2020, but now, under its new law, it cannot do it in the future. Under the new law, mailboxes can only be available during the early voting period, which closes on the Friday before Election Day.
Additionally, Colorado allows people to register to vote on Election Day and then cast their vote. In Georgia, the registration deadline is the fifth Monday before Election Day.

Colorado Offers More Mailbox Access Overall

It’s not just Election Day that Colorado offers more mailbox access than Georgia.

Under Georgia’s new law, every county must have at least one mailbox. But the law also says that each county cannot have more than one additional mailbox per early voting site or per 100,000 active registered voters, whichever is less.

This provision will mean that large Georgia counties will have far fewer mailboxes than large Colorado counties. Atlanta’s Fulton County, with a population of more than 1 million in 2019, says it would have to go from 38 mailboxes in the November election to eight in the future. Denver, with a population of about 727,000 in 2019, also had 38 mailboxes in November, and is not forced into a drastic reduction.

In fact, Colorado’s most populous counties are required to have a minimum of one mailbox for every 12,500 active voters. (Requirements gradually get smaller for smaller-sized counties.) In 2020, Denver was required to have a minimum of 35 mailboxes.

Thats not all. Georgia law requires mailboxes to be moved within elections offices or early voting locations (except during emergencies declared by the governor), where they can only be available during early voting hours; 7 am to 7 pm maximum It will continue to be available outdoors 24 hours a day.

Colorado has more flexible voter identification requirements

Some Republicans have erroneously implied that Colorado’s voter identification requirements are equivalent to Georgia’s. Others have been completely untrue, wrongly claiming that Colorado requires a particular photo ID.

In a viral tweet, which was deleted after checked it on twitterGreg Price of the right-wing website The Daily Caller claimed that Colorado “requires a photo ID to vote in person.” Kemp saying on Fox News that, from what they’ve been told, “they also have a photo ID requirement.” And Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton saying On Fox News: “I received shocking, indeed terrible news for all of your viewers, especially for all social justice warriors in Major League Baseball: Colorado appears to require a photo ID to vote in person.”
None of that is true. Colorado allows both a photo ID and a non-photo ID to vote in person; The list of acceptable non-photo IDs includes a recent utility bill, bank statement, government check, or paycheck; a Medicare card; or a copy of a birth certificate. (The full list is online for anyone to read.) Georgia, by contrast, requires a photo ID to vote in person.

So Scott’s tweet that both states have “voter identification” is correct, but the two states do not have the same voter identification requirements, even for voting in person. And under Georgia’s new law, states are even more different when it comes to voting by mail.

Under previous Georgia law, election officials validated voters’ identities by verifying the signatures attached to their vote-by-mail ballots. Under the new law, voters must provide a Georgia driver’s license number, the number on their state identification card, or the last four digits of their Social Security number. If they don’t have any of that, they can provide one of several alternative forms of identification, such as a copy of a utility bill, a bank statement, or a government check.
In Colorado, one signature is sufficient for non-Colorado first-time voters by mail who have not previously provided identification to state election officials.

Supporters of Georgia’s law have the right to argue that its provision of identification for voting by mail is not especially burdensome given the number of options it offers voters. But it is a mistake to suggest that Georgia’s layout is the same as Colorado’s.

Colorado has a softer restriction on voter pamphlets

Price’s now-deleted viral tweet from The Daily Caller noted that Colorado also has a restriction for people to deliver food and beverages to voters waiting in line.

It’s true. But the restriction is much tighter than the much-criticized food and water restriction in Georgia’s new law.

Colorado says campaign workers can hand out “water, snacks and other items” to voters in line. It simply says that these people cannot wear clothing or accessories with the name of a candidate or party if they are within 100 feet of the polling place.
Georgia law, by contrast, says that “anyone” is prohibited from giving any gift to voters, including food and drink, either within 25 feet of any voter in line or 150 feet from the polling place. The only exception is for election staff who install unattended water stations.

Other provisions

It is worth noting that Republicans comparing Georgia law to Colorado law do not mention some of the more important provisions of Georgia law.

For example, Georgia law allows the Republican-controlled state board of elections to personally elect someone to take temporary control of a county board of elections that the state board has found to be in violation of election law or board policies. state. The state board can take control of four county electoral systems at once.

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