Georgia Republicans are celebrating after the MLB announced that Atlanta will host the 2025 All-Star Game. The decision comes after the game was moved out of the state in 2021 due to the passage of a voting law criticized by the left as racist and reminiscent of Jim Crow laws.
The law, which remains in effect, aimed to ensure election integrity by implementing certain restrictions on absentee and mail-in voting, expanding voter ID requirements, and prohibiting non-poll workers from providing food and drink to voters waiting in line at polling centers.
Despite the criticism, turnout in Georgia increased during the 2022 midterm elections. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp expressed his satisfaction with the MLB’s change of heart, stating, “Georgia’s voting laws haven’t changed, but it’s good to see the MLB’s misguided understanding of them has. We look forward to welcoming the All-Star Game to Georgia. Go Braves!”
Lieutenant Governor Burt Jones criticized Stacey Abrams, a two-time Democratic candidate for governor, who has been one of the law’s most vocal opponents. Jones blamed her for the economic benefits lost due to the game being moved, claiming, “Stacey Abrams cost Georgians over $100M due to her lies about Georgia’s common-sense election reform law.
Four years delayed, I’m happy to see the MLB seeing through her lies and bringing the All-Star Game back to Georgia. I’ll hold my breath waiting on an apology.”
Former Georgia Senator Kelly Loeffler celebrated the MLB’s decision, dismissing accusations of voter suppression, and referencing Abrams’ refusal to concede the 2018 gubernatorial election, saying, “[The MLB] realized that ‘voter suppression’ is as much a myth as Stacey Abrams winning the Governor’s race. Vindication – for Georgia voters, small businesses, and sports fans!”
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger called the decision a “longest instant replay review of all time” and celebrated the overturning of what he considered to be a bad call. He added, “Georgia’s elections are safe, secure, and accessible to serve our voters.”
Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock joined Republicans in celebrating the return of the game, emphasizing the positive impact it will have on the state’s economy. Warnock was one of the few Democrats to criticize the MLB’s initial decision to move the game and called for them to stay and fight against voter suppression.
Georgia’s other Democratic Senator, Jon Ossoff, expressed his excitement for the game’s return but did not address why the MLB chose to bring it back to Atlanta despite the unchanged voting law.
In response to the celebration from Republicans, Ossoff had previously criticized Georgia’s Republican Party, accusing them of causing economic harm and job losses with their voter law, which he considers to be a deliberate attempt to make it harder for Black voters to cast their ballots.