Some of these Republicans are trying to convince Americans that baseball officials are not only wrong but hypocritical. On television and on social media, they have claimed or strongly suggested that the new Georgia law is no stricter than Colorado’s elections law.
That’s not even close to true.
Colorado sends a mail ballot to every active registered voter. Because of this policy and others outlined below, experts say Colorado is one of the states that make it easiest to vote; David Becker, executive director of the Center for Election Innovation and Research, a nonprofit, said it is “arguably at the very top of the list of easiest states to vote.”
There is debate even among experts about where precisely Georgia ranks — but it is very obviously more restrictive than Colorado. The Republican attempts to portray Colorado as Georgia’s equivalent have either been plain false or lacking in essential context.
Here is a look at the many problems with some of the Republican claims about Colorado and Georgia.
Colorado has far fewer in-person voters
This is true — but leaves out a critical piece of context: Colorado, unlike Georgia, sends out a mail ballot to every active registered voter. And the overwhelming majority of Colorado voters choose to vote by mail rather than in a voting booth.
Colorado offers more access on Election Day
If he was talking about Election Day rights, he was wrong.
Colorado offers more drop box access in general
It’s not just Election Day during which Colorado offers greater drop box access than Georgia does.
This provision will mean that big Georgia counties will have far fewer drop boxes than big Colorado counties. Atlanta’s Fulton County, with a population of over 1 million in 2019, says it would have to go from 38 drop boxes in the November election to eight in the future. Denver, with a population of about 727,000 in 2019, also had 38 drop boxes in November, and it is not being forced into a sharp reduction.
In fact, Colorado’s most populous counties are required to have a minimum of one drop box per 12,500 active voters. (The requirements get gradually smaller for counties of smaller sizes.) In 2020, Denver was required to have a minimum of 35 drop boxes.
That’s not all. The Georgia law requires drop boxes to be moved inside elections offices or early voting locations (except during emergencies declared by the governor), where they can only be available during early voting hours — at most, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Colorado’s drop boxes will continue to be available outdoors 24 hours a day.
Colorado has looser voter identification requirements
Some Republicans have wrongly hinted that Colorado’s voter identification requirements are equivalent to Georgia’s. Others have been straight-up false, inaccurately claiming that Colorado requires photo identification in particular.
So Scott’s tweet that both states have “voter ID” is correct, but the two states do not have the same voter ID requirements even for in-person voting. And under the new Georgia law, the states are even more different when it comes to mail voting.
Supporters of the Georgia law are entitled to argue that its ID provision for mail voting is not especially onerous given how many options it gives voters. But it’s just wrong to suggest the Georgia provision is the same as Colorado’s provision.
Colorado has a softer restriction on handouts to voters
The now-deleted viral tweet by Price, of The Daily Caller, noted that Colorado also has a restriction on people handing out food and drink to voters waiting in line.
That’s true. But the restriction is way narrower than the much-criticized food and water restriction in the new Georgia law.
It’s worth noting that the Republicans who are likening the Georgia law to Colorado law are not mentioning some of the most important provisions of the Georgia law.