On the first day of voting, Georgia saw voters arrive in record numbers, disproving the numerous lies spun about voter reform.
It was all said to be the worst thing possible for voting rights in the state of Georgia. After he was “wrongfully” elected, Governor Brian Kemp joined in with other states in pushing, then passing, a voter integrity law that would address many of the policies trotted out due to the pandemic, as well as expanding numerous ways early voting could take place. The furor, as we all saw, was loud and persistent.
Many in the press joined in by bellowing about the disenfranchisement of voters, particularly minorities. This spread out to Democrats in general, all the way up to President Biden. With many invoking the term “Jim Crow” to describe the supposedly racist aspects, Biden decided to ramp up the hysterics, declaring the law to be “Jim Eagle.” One detail lost in the outrage: The people actually favored the law.
Then there was Stacey Abrams, the Democrat poster-gal for election impropriety, squealing about the law loudly. She complained bitterly that the law was illegal, racist, and all other accusations. Her outrage was so justified that she went to court to block its enforcement – only to be met with a judge striking her suit down.
Now comes the news that on the first day of early voting in Georgia, they have set a record for a midterm election turnout. On Day 2, Tuesday, they actually exceeded the turnout on the second day of voting in the 2020 general election. This is not an anomaly either, as the state also saw record numbers in the primary that was run this summer. So all of the protracted yelping and claims of racial intolerance have been exposed as being what we knew from the start – a complete lie.
Then comes the needed follow-up question: At what cost?
The most famous corporate reaction was when the commissioner of Major League Baseball bought into the deceptive hype and relocated the All-Star Game from Atlanta to the lily-white city of Denver. This came at the expense of $100 million expected for area businesses that week, a large number of those being black-owned entities that lost much-needed post-pandemic revenue in the name of supporting black issues.
Stacey Abrams received well-deserved scorn because she had prior words intimating boycotts would be needed. Her own activist group, Fair Fight Action, pushed for boycotts on Georgia. Once the game was pulled and the economic impact was realized, Abrams changed her words – literally. At USA Today, they allowed a previously published editorial to be edited, removing her support of boycotts, after outrage in her state erupted at the loss of commerce. But that was only part of the money flight.
Joe Biden also joined in with the call to see companies flee the state. Emboldened by the move of MLB, Biden declared that more businesses should also consider pulling up stakes from Georgia:
“It is reassuring to see that for-profit operations and businesses are speaking up about how these new Jim Crow laws that are just antithetical to who we are. When they in fact move out of Georgia, people who need help most, people who are making hourly wages, sometimes get hurt the most. The best way to deal with this is for Georgia and other states to smarten up. Stop it, stop it.”
In recent years, Georgia has become a location for a booming entertainment production business. The usually leftist-activist industry was very outspoken against the law with numerous slated or proposed productions moving away in response to the “racist” election law. Will Smith moved a film shoot out of the state in response to the law’s passage. The Director’s Guild joined in on the outrage to generate more opposition.
Beyond intrastate economic activity, businesses located in the state were also facing boycotts. Many perceived silence from certain corporate names to be tantamount to support, so they were named as targets for boycotts. All of this amounted to citizens, business owners, and employees becoming impacted by legislation they had no part in creating or passing. People were motivated to enforce economic punishments on those within the state of Georgia.
And it was all over a lie. Abrams was actually rated as being untruthful by the Washington Post about the restrictions the law was claimed to enforce. Even the local paper — the Atlanta Journal-Constitution — had to issue a correction, of sorts, to the initial claims made about the bill. But the damage has been done. The lies about the Georgia law were not only biased and pernicious, they were widespread and ongoing, and they motivated adverse economic reprisals on the state which were not in any way justified.
A law that actually expanded voter access and ease has led to swollen numbers of citizens coming to the polls or voting remotely, yet for how long was this demonized over partisanship? How extensive was the hardship unnecessarily imposed on the citizens? These are lies that need to be remembered and pointed out with frequency when appropriate.